Orthodox campaign for refurb of torched church

By Nathan Jeffay, July 16, 2015

One month after an arson attack on a historic Israeli church, Jewish suspects have been arrested - and rabbis are raising money to refurbish the church.

On Sunday, Israeli police arrested three Jewish men suspected of torching and daubing Hebrew graffiti on the Church of the Multiplication in the Galilee, where Jesus is said to have fed 5,000 people.

The arrests mark a significant step forwa


In New York, Chasidim keep up informal ban on women driving

By Sebastien Malo, June 1, 2015

A New York strictly-Orthodox community continues to follow a religious tradition under which women must refrain from driving.

Though not illegal for female residents, driving runs against a long-held religious standard in the Chasidic village of New Square, New York, with the result that no women does so, a former village spokesman said.


Manchester's big leap is to try to become more united

By Barry Toberman, May 28, 2015

It is said that there are three Jewish communities in Greater Manchester - north, south, and Charedi. The former is the longest established, the south attracts some of the more affluent community members, and the strictly Orthodox accounts for a rising proportion of a Jewish population variously estimated at between 27,000 and 30,000.


You don't have to be frum to study on Shavuot

May 21, 2015

At university one of the keenest consumers of our Jewish society's educational offerings was a practising Christian who would attend everything from Hebrew lessons to in-depth Talmud classes. I once asked him what the learning was like at church. He looked at me surprised, "We don't do learning".


Mystery rescuer saves Charedi man who fell into river Lea

By Rosa Doherty, May 18, 2015

A mystery cyclist has been heralded a hero after he saved a Charedi man from drowning.

The man dived into the river Lea, in Hackney, east London, to rescue Eli Heilpern who had fallen off his bike into the water.

Mr Heilpern, 28, a property management consultant from Stamford Hill, was cycling with friends when he lost control on a bumpy section of the narrow riverside path.


Charity will lose money after decision to hold London Marathon on Pesach

By Josh Jackman, April 27, 2015

A Jewish charity has warned that it will lose out on thousands of pounds worth of donations after it was revealed that next year’s London Marathon will be run on the second day of Pesach.

Marathon organisers announced yesterday that 2016’s event will take place on April 24, when observant Jewish runners will not be able to take part.


Orthodox school branded inadequate by inspectors

By Simon Rocker, April 9, 2015

Another strictly Orthodox independent school has been heavily criticised by inspectors after its curriculum was found to be too narrow.

Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomoh in Golders Green, which teaches 219 boys from three to 15, was ranked inadequate on all counts following a recent Ofsted visit.


Coroner row escalates

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2015

Representatives of London's strictly Orthodox community have dismissed claims of hounding a coroner in a long-running dispute over autopsies.

Mary Hassell, senior coroner for Inner North London, was reported by the Mail on Sunday to have written to Camden Council asking for protection from "bullying, intimidation and the threat of violence".

Twice last year the relatives of elderly Orthodox


Leading rabbi mourned

By Josh Jackman, February 19, 2015

Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, one of Britain's leading strictly Orthodox rabbis, has died aged 92.

An estimated 5,000 people attended his funeral in Golders Green, north-west London, on Wednesday, bringing the area to a standstill. A Metropolitan Police helicopter was used to watch over the mourners.


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.