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  • Focus on Issues: from Intermarriage to Divorce; Kids Often Get Caught in Cross Fire

    Jeffrey Kendall wanted his children to believe their mother was destined to burn in hell. The children, attending their father’s fundamentalist Christian church, were told that their mother’s observance of Judaism had sealed her fate and that they, too, would be doomed if they did not accept Christ as their lord and savior. It was… More ▸

  • Profile: Leading Israeli Feminist Embraces Conservative Judaism

    Most people are contemplating retirement at the age of 70, but Alice Shalvi isn’t most people. Just shy of her 71st birthday, Shalvi has become the rector of the Beit Midrash, the Conservative/Masorti movement’s seminary of Judaic studies in Israel. Honored numerous times for her achievements in the fields of feminism and religious education, Shalvi,… More ▸

  • Successful Conference Spawns New Orthodox Feminist Alliance

    When more than 1,000 people showed up for a conference on feminism and Orthodoxy in February, organizers knew that they had tapped into something powerful. To further develop the grass-roots movement of Orthodox feminists, conference organizers are starting a new organization: the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. The alliance will be based in New York and… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Orthodox Feminists No Longer See Their Quest As an ‘oxymoron’

    Being an Orthodox Jewish feminist has long meant trying to straddle two worlds based on diametrically opposed values. The first International Conference on Orthodoxy & Feminism, held here this week, made it clear that Orthodox women and the rabbis who back them feel that they are slowly but surely bridging the chasm between those worlds…. More ▸

  • News Analysis: U.S. Warning to Israel-bound Echoes Beyond Diplomatic Arena

    The U.S. State Department’s unprecedented decision to issue a formal warning to travelers about rabbinic authority in Israel is reverberating far beyond the diplomatic realm. The warning says the Israeli government may not permit American citizens involved in a contentious divorce to leave the Jewish state until they grant their spouse a religious divorce. The… More ▸

  • South Africa Can Require ‘Get’ Before Approving Civil Divorce

    South Africa can require `get’ before approving civil divorce. Jewish leaders here have hailed an amendment to South Africa’s divorce law that links civil and religious divorces. As a result of the amendment enacted late last year, the country’s courts may now refuse to grant a civil divorce until the necessary steps have been taken… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines: Israeli Women Concerned About Drop in Knesset Seats

    Although several interest groups, from immigrants to settlers, gained considerable ground in Israel’s recent national elections, one large and potentially powerful group — the country’s women — experienced a setback. Instead of improving on the 12 seats they held in the previous Knesset, women filled only nine parliamentary slots after the May 29 election, which… More ▸

  • Acri Study Finds Shortcomings in Guaranteeing Israelis’ Rights

    Israel walks a complicated, often conflicted path when it comes to protecting civil rights, according to a leading civil rights group here. In a 260-page report issued this week, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel examined to what degree the Israeli government affords basic civil rights to the population in general and to specific… More ▸

  • British Jew Ostracized for Denying Spouse a `get’

    A Jewish religious court in Great Britain has issued a ruling forbidding Orthodox Jews from eating, drinking or sitting within six feet of a 43-year old Jewish man because he refuses to give his wife a “get,” or Jewish divorce. It Moses David still refuses to appear before the Beit Din, further restrictions might be… More ▸