Charedi Judaism

Cheadle synagogue celebrates more female inclusion

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 24, 2009

Greater inclusion of women in Orthodox synagogue life is being celebrated at Cheadle’s Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation.

Over the past 20 years a special committee has campaigned for women to occupy positions on the synagogue’s executive, introduced women’s prayer services and last year began the first female honour of eshet chayil (woman of valour) to sit beside the traditional men’s Simchat Torah first and last Torah reading honours. These and other achievements will form the basis of an exhibition at the shul.

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Charedi women refuse bus gender segragation

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 18, 2009

A new group has joined the fight over gender-segregated bus lines in Israel: religious women who do not want to be forced to sit at the back.

This month, four such groups boarded the “Mehadrin”, or especially stringent buses, running through Jerusalem, pointedly sitting at the front.

“Charedi women on the bus also joined us,” says Rachel Azaria, a religious member of Jerusalem City Council who is leading a coalition of local organisations against the buses.

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This shul may become a music hall

By Chloe Markowicz, September 3, 2009

A strictly Orthodox rabbi has started a campaign to stop part of a historic synagogue in Transylvania being turned into a concert hall. However, the owners of the Great Synagogue of Dej say that no such plans exist.

Rabbi Eliahu Caufman alleges that part of the women’s section in the shul, which was built in 1865, will be transformed by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.

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Rebuilding plan for Golders Green school

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

An Orthodox school in Golders Green school is to be rebuilt to increase its capacity.

The privately run Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomo in Elmcroft Crescent currently educates 148 boys aged between three and seven but is struggling to accommodate them in its run-down prefabricated buildings.

New classrooms will enable it to cater for 210 pupils. They will be built around an open courtyard with a second courtyard serving as a playground.

Rooftop play areas will also be created, with fencing and vegetation around the premises.

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Residents fight special needs development

By Robyn Rosen, August 13, 2009

Campaigners against the building of a new development for Orthodox families in Stamford Hill will learn today if they can appeal against the plans.

Hackney Council last year approved proposals to redevelop the former Avigdor School site in Lordship Road into a new special needs school and nursery and 29 residential units for Orthodox families.

But hundreds of local residents have opposed the scheme and more than 30 turned up at the High Court last Friday to apply for a judicial review against the council’s decision.

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Revealed: future faces of Orthodoxy

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

The first crop of new rabbis for mainstream Orthodox congregations has been trained in Britain after a gap of several years.

Five students passed their final exams on the London Montefiore semichah (ordination) programme, launched three years ago in partnership with the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation.

It was founded following the closure of rabbinic training in 2002 at the London School of Jewish Studies, formerly Jews’ College, which historically trained ministers for central Orthodoxy in the UK.

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Charedi mother formally charged in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, August 4, 2009

The mother accused of starving her three-year-old son in the row which sparked the Jerusalem Charedi riots has been formally charged with abuse in the Jerusalem District Court.

Several counts have been filed with the Jerusalem District Court after a psychiatric evaluation found that she was fit to stand trial.

Jerusalem State Prosecutor Moshe Lador is said to have been briefed on the case at the weekend.

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Two-thirds of Israelis want Temple rebuilt

By Jessica Elgot, July 30, 2009

Two thirds of Israelis have indicated they would like the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt, including Israelis who describe themselves as secular.

The survey, conducted for Ynet and the Gesher organization, asked 516 Israelis if they knew the meaning of Tish B’Av and if they would like to see the Temple restored.

Ninety-seven percent knew the meaning of the fast of Tisha B’Av, that it was the destruction of the Temple, while only 2% said they did not know.

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TV-ban school challenged by local council

By Simon Rocker, July 23, 2009

Bury Council has challenged the admissions policy of a state-aided strictly Orthodox primary school which stipulates that parents should not have TV sets at home.

The council declined to go into details about its objection to the entry criteria of Yesoiday Hatorah (formerly Prestwich Jewish Day School).

But a spokesman for the Lancashire authority said: “During the consultation on admission arrangements for 2010, we highlighted our objections regarding the draft policies of Yesoiday Hatorah Primary School. However, the determined policies were not altered.

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Orthodox tenants housing let down

By James Martin, July 16, 2009

An affordable housing scheme for Orthodox families in Stamford Hill is struggling to fill all its units because Hackney Council has failed to find “suitable” families as tenants.

Jewish housing association the Industrial Dwellings Society (IDS) purchased 20 units from Taylor Wimpey at Latham’s Yard in Upper Clapton in 2002, with the support of a £3 million Housing Corporation grant. The first 15 were occupied at the start of June.

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