I come to bury, not to raise

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 4, 2012

In common, I'm sure, with many other JC readers I initially thought that reports of the sale in parts of Jerusalem of special glasses that blurred salacious visions were nothing more than mischievous rumours. But they weren't.

The manufacture of "blinkers" - or "vision impeding hoods" - to blot out forbidden images I initially took to be a gimmick. I was wrong.


Fifty Shades and a frum fanbase

By Brigit Grant, August 9, 2012

Consider this. Jews have a history of being on the move, yet few Jewish women know how to pack. You'd think the perpetual transit of our ancestors would have taught us something about travelling light, but trolleys creaking under the weight of stacked Samsonites at El Al check-in desks says it didn't.


'Modesty' is eroding innocence

By Angela Epstein, July 30, 2012

The party was in full swing. In the hot, damp atmosphere steaming from pendulous hips and sweaty gyrations, clammy bodies were heaped on top of each other like a pile of freshly cooked blintzes.

And, all the while, the relentless throb of melodically challenged chart-toppers boomed over the speakers.

Would you be happy to let your child be a part of all this?


Was the Chief Rabbi right to speak on gay marriage?

By Simon Rocker, July 20, 2012

A wry smile might have crossed the lips of anyone who read the JC letters page last week. Not often do you find the chairman of the Reform movement jumping to the defence of the Chief Rabbi, after he had been attacked for opposing government plans to introduce civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples.


The fearless champion of tolerant Orthodoxy

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, July 12, 2012

When an Israeli friend visited the Sephardi Synagogue in Lauderdale Road, she was shocked. “We were brought up viewing the Sephardim as the down- trodden, second-class citizens of Israel,” she said, “but here were Sephardim elegantly dressed in top hats, holding decorous services accompanied by a melodious choir. These were Sephardi aristocrats, something I never dreamed possible.”


Ten-year-old breaks weight-lifting record

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2012

She is more than a year shy of her batmitzvah and not yet five foot tall, but pre-teen strongwoman Naomi Kutin can lift twice her own body weight.

The 10-year-old from New Jersey came to the world’s attention earlier this year when she broke an international record for female weight-lifters in her weight class — previously held by a 44-year-old — and lifted 215lb.


NYPD blues for Orthodox recruit with beard

By Jennifer Lipman, June 11, 2012

A Chasidic trainee policeman has complained that he was asked to leave the force because his beard was longer than regulation.

Fishel Litzman's hopes of becoming a full-fledged member of the New York Police Department were dashed when he was fired from the training academy just a month before qualification.


Matisyahu explains his shock shave

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2012

The now clean-shaven reggae superstar Matisyahu has written a letter to fans explaining his decision to cut off his signature beard and revealing the Jewish influences behind his latest record.


‘Dramatic step forward’ for Israel’s non-Orthodox

By Nathan Jeffay, May 31, 2012

The Israeli government agreed this week to recognise some Reform and Conservative rabbis and fund their salaries. While the state pays the salaries of hundreds of rabbis, until now all of them have been Orthodox.


Chasidic woman's flight from New York Orthodox life

By Miriam Shaviv, May 25, 2012

Unorthodox is an account of Deborah Feldman’s Chasidic upbringing in New York, her unhappiness at what she sees as her oppression, and ultimately her escape into secular society. Inevitably, the Satmar community in which Feldman grew up has responded aggressively, accusing her of mistakes, omissions and outright lies.