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  • Israel elects new mayors

    Israelis went to the polls today to elect mayors and city councils around the country. One of the most closely watched races is in Jerusalem, where a fervently Orthodox rabbi and politician, Meir Porush, is running neck-and-neck with a secular businessman and city councilman, Nir Barkat. The election is considered crucial for the city, which… More ▸

  • Why a chicken?

    Ben Harris filed a report on the feud between animal-rights activists and Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim over kapparos. Here’s his interview with Rabbi Shea Hecht about why the pre-High Holiday ritual must performed with a chicken. [audio:/images/archive/hecht.mp3] Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • Taking on Chabad

    The latest issue of New Voices, the Jewish student magazine, is devoted entirely to Chabad, whose rabbis are rising in prominence on college campuses and often challenging the hegemony of the local Hillel chapters. As one JTA staffer noted, it’s pretty “ballsy” of NV to take on Lubavitch, though takedown is probably a more accurate… More ▸

  • Shomrim vs. Shmira (and the NYPD)

    The NYPD is trying to bring two rival Jewish security patrols in Brooklyn, the Shomrim and Shmira, under one roof, the New York Post reports: The NYPD is trying to settle a long-running dispute between two rival Orthodox Jewish patrol groups – and keep them from taking the law into their own hands – by… More ▸

  • The tear in Orthodoxy

    Michael Freund devotes his column in Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post to the increasingly acrimonious battle between differing Orthodox camps in the battle over conversions in Israel. Less than three weeks before Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple as a result of “sin’at chinam,” – infighting among the Jewish people – we’re at… More ▸