Charedi Judaism

The latest conversion row could tear us apart

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, June 5, 2008

The conflict over Israeli conversions will lead modern Orthodox to split from Charedim

Shavuot is a time for reading the book of Ruth: “Wherever you go, I go, your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God …” It is a time when Jews should focus on matters relating to conversions. There is much to consider.


Shtreimel gangs target Charedim

By Dana Gloger, May 29, 2008

Charedi men have been targeted by muggers who have stolen their fur shtreimels in a wave of attacks across North-East London.

The incidents have all taken place in Stamford Hill, which is home to the largest Charedi community in Europe.

Two of the attacks happened last Friday evening and in the early hours of Saturday. 


Rabbi granted bail

By Dana Gloger, May 29, 2008

A Charedi rabbi was granted bail on appeal at London’s High Court last week, after he was originally denied it by magistrates.

The American government is seeking to extradite Avrum Friesel, 55, on 19 fraud charges, allegedly committed in late 1980s and early 1990s. The charges relate to his time as town clerk of New Square Town in New York, a Chasidic community of the Skverer sect.

He moved to Stamford Hill, London, in 1999, and was arrested in April this year.


'Yiddish' men attack and rob pensioner

By Leon Symons, May 22, 2008

Two Yiddish-speaking men armed with a hammer were being hunted by police in North-East London this week after they attacked and robbed an elderly money-changer in his home.

The men were dressed in traditional Charedi garb and the attack has left the community shocked.

Detective Constable Joan Martin, of Hackney Robbery Squad, said: “This was a vicious attack on an elderly gentleman and we are keen to ensure these individuals are caught as soon as possible. ”


What baby boom? Board disputes birth statistics for UK Jews

By Leon Symons, May 22, 2008

A claim by a University of Manchester researcher that Britain’s Jewish population is growing for the first time since the Second World War has been questioned by the Board of Deputies.

Yaakov Wise, of the University’s Jewish-studies department, claimed that the population was 275,000 in 2005, but had increased to 280,000 by 2008. He said the main factor was the steady increase in births in the strictly Orthodox community.


Angry Charedim hold a tow truck hostage

By Leon Symons, May 16, 2008

Two tiny parking bays have sparked a major row between the Charedi community and Transport for London. The row threatened to boil over last week when dozens of angry motorists surrounded a tow-truck that was about to remove a car — and held it for two hours before allowing it to go. The parking bays are at the junction of Stamford Hill and Clapton Common, in North East London, outside a row of shops.


Norwood aids Charedim

May 1, 2008

A collaboration with Norwood has enabled a Stamford Hill group offering out-of-school activities for Charedi youngsters with disabilities to improve its facilities.

Step by Step has moved its weekly Sunday Club to Norwood’s Somers Centre in Hackney — a purpose-built facility incorporating a main play area, adventure playground, garden, soft play room and arts and crafts provision.

The group made an approach to Norwood over use of the premises, “and we were delighted to accommodate them, as we have very good relations”, a spokesman told the JC.


New kosher fishmonger in Coatsworth Road

April 17, 2008

A kosher fishmonger has added to the shopping facilities for the Charedi community in Coatsworth Road. The shop, under the supervision of Gateshead Kashrus Authority, is run by Moshe Leitner, 28, an ex-Sunderland Yeshivah student. He “saw a gap in the market, studied at North Tyneside College and persuaded my tutor, Darren Adamson, to help me set up shop and to come to work for me”.


Charity told to repay rabbi £322k

By Simon Rocker, April 10, 2008

A North London rabbi has won a High Court claim to be repaid more than £322,000 by a strictly Orthodox charity which he says was intended as a loan, not a gift.

Rabbi Moshe Meisels, from Stamford Hill, had sued supporters of the anti-Zionist Satmar Chasidic sect who raised funds for a charity, the Yetev Lev Jerusalem Trust.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Blake hoped “that the bitter controversy this claim has created within the synagogues of Stamford Hill will now abate”.


Rabbi on run after child is forced to drink solvent

By Eric Silver, April 10, 2008

Israel is seeking the extradition of a strictly Orthodox rabbi, Elior Chen, who fled to Canada after being accused of instructing a mother of eight to brutally abuse her children as a means of “cleansing” and “educating” them.

The case, the second of its kind in recent weeks involving Charedi families, has shocked Israelis.