Charedi Judaism

Stamford Hill sect bans women drivers

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

The British leaders of a major Chasidic sect have declared that women should not be allowed to drive.
In a letter sent out last week, Belz rabbis said that having female drivers goes against “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp” and against the norms of Chasidic institutions.


Boy’s body recovered from Hampstead Heath pond

By Josh Jackman, April 16, 2015

The body of a strictly Orthodox boy who drowned while swimming in a pond on Wednesday has been recovered by police.

He has not yet been named.

His body was recovered at around 11pm.


Charedi boy feared drowned in Hampstead Heath pond

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2015

A strictly Orthodox boy was believed to have drowned while swimming in a pond on Wednesday.

Thought to be in his mid-to-late teens, the Charedi boy had been swimming at Hampstead Heath in north London during the spell of hot weather.


Man trampled at rabbi’s vast funeral

By Nathan Jeffay, April 8, 2015

Israel's strictly-Orthodox community is mourning the death of one of its most revered rabbis, Shmuel Halevi Wosner.

Tens of thousands of people attended his funeral on Sunday, and one man was trampled to death in the crowd.

Rabbi Wosner was a strong voice on many of the community's key fights.


Not on our pavements - Charedi group opposes bike plan

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

A group which tries to protect the morals of strictly Orthodox Jews has identified a new spiritual threat - bicycle lanes.

The Va'ad Lema'an Toihar Hamachaneh - "committee for the purity of the camp" - has not spelt out why a cycle route running through Hackney, the north London borough with the capital's largest Charedi population, would be "a danger to the spirituality and character of our ne


Is it the end of Golders Green Charedi giants?

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2015

The death last week of the nonagenarian president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, not only deprived Golders Green of one of its most influential post-war Jewish figures, it marked the passing of the area's Charedi old guard.


Top rabbi drowns iPhone

By Nathan Jeffay, February 12, 2015

A senior Israeli rabbi revealed that he destroyed a student’s iPhone because of the device’s supposed spiritual dangers, according to an audio recording that has just surfaced.

Charedi media claimed to have found the recording of a sermon by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef in which he argued that smartphone usage was enough to invalidate a marriage.


Chasid’s ‘Sacred Sperm’ film causes stir

By Nathan Jeffay, February 12, 2015

The Chasid who made a film about masturbation has said that he was caught off-guard by the massive interest that it generated.

“I’m surprised because I didn’t realise that it would interest people around the world,” said Ori Gruder.


Salford cuts threaten charities' services

By Josh Jackman, January 22, 2015

Manchester communal charities fear the impact on services of the swingeing budget cuts proposed by Salford City Council, saying they are "being hit from all angles".

Salford - which has had its government funding reduced by £118 million since 2011 - has announced plans to slash £56 million from its budget over the next two years, includiing a £32.5 million reduction for 2015.

The major Ma


Chasidic school impresses Ofsted

By Simon Rocker, December 8, 2014

An independent Chasidic school in Stamford Hill, north London, has received a glowing report from Ofsted.

Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, which is run by the Belz Chasidic group with 533 boys aged from three to 16, was rated good overall.

The behaviour of pupils as well as the schools’ attention to their care and safety was ranked outstanding, as was its early years section.