Ultimately, converts will be the losers

By Seth Farber, July 22, 2010

Whatever happens in the end to the conversion law, the real losers are the potential converts. Neither the bill - which was proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu in an effort to ease the road for converts in Israel - or the virulent response of the North American Jewish community, which tried to kill the bill, was going to significantly improve the chaos that has characterised conversion in Israel for the past decade.


Parents face jail over Jewish school segregation

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Tens of thousands of strictly Orthodox Jews marched in Jerusalem today against the proposed integration of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi girls at a religious school.

Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Sephardi children must be educated together, and dozens of parents of girls at a school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel face up to two weeks in jail.

The parents of Ashkenazi children have demanded the other children are educated separately - claiming they do not believe them to be observant enough.


Judah Passow's Manchester

By Judah Passow, April 1, 2010

In this second set of photographs focusing on the British Jewish community, Judah Passow takes a look at life in north Manchester’s Broughton Park and Higher Broughton.

Its Victorian terraced streets are dotted with yeshivot and synagogues of various sizes, and with shops and restaurants which cater for the strict interpretation of kashrut adhered to in the area.



Orthodox anger at plans to change GMT

By Robyn Rosen, February 25, 2010

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has opposed plans to replace Greenwich Mean Time with all-year summertime, believing it will cause “tremendous hardship” for those observing religiously prescribed prayer times.

Joe Lobenstein, vice president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, has written to Gordon Brown objecting to proposals to shift Britain’s whole time system forward by an hour, known as Single Double Saving Time (SDST).

Campaigners for the change believe that it will boost the tourist trade and reduce traffic accidents.


Meet the world’s first female Orthodox rav

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

L’Chaim!” Reb Mimi Feigelson raises her glass of water for the umpteenth time and takes a sip. Fighting off a cold, she has sustained her voice for well over an hour, leading a late-night session on Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, the Chasidic master, at the Limmud conference.


JCoSS is non-Orthodox, not ‘cross-communal’

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, June 25, 2009

The scheduled opening of JCoSS (the Jewish Community Secondary School) next year has generated unprecedented interest. Adorned with the slogan “excellence, choice, openness, inclusion”, its website describes it as “the first cross-communal Jewish secondary school in the UK”. JCoSS takes pride in its admissions policy, which “will treat on an equal basis all pupils recognised as Jewish by any of the UK’s mainstream movements” and its intention to deliver Jewish studies “while being non-judgemental between the various mainstream Jewish traditions”.


Divine aid

December 11, 2008

A special day of prayer was observed last week among strictly Orthodox congregations in response to the growing economic crisis.

Notices were posted in synagogues by the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Rabbi Avraham Pinter, principal of Yesodey Hatorah said that the crisis “is affecting everybody” and donors had been hit.

“A lot of food products are imported so weakness of the pound is having an additional adverse effect,” he said.


How Chief Rabbis have battled against Reform

By Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Cohen, November 18, 2008

Faith against Reason: Religious Reform and the British CHief Rabbinate, 1840-1990

Meir Persoff
Vallentine Mitchell, £50, £19.95 pb

It may be coincidence that, within the past two years, three books have appeared on the subject of the British Chief Rabbinate. This perhaps indicates that religious hierarchy and authority are largely becoming relegated to the status of historical curiosity, with most committed young Jews owing allegiance to their own individual and charismatic spiritual gurus.


An Orthodox woman can lead the prayers

By Nathan Jeffay, November 6, 2008

Two Israeli scholars have put their necks on the line to try to answer one of the most controversial questions in Orthodox Judaism today: what role can women take in public worship?

In the last decade, around two dozen "partnership minyanim" have been founded in Israel and the USA. These congregations have tried to pioneer services that increase women's participation, while operating within the parameters of Orthodox religious law. But they have faced two major problems.