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  • The writing on the wall

    Is Israel headed toward a religiously extremist future? The latest report about growing religious extremism (having nothing to do with nationalism or politics) in Israel comes from, of all places, Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper: Faced with what they see as the threat of modern culture, sections of the Haredim are demanding a more rigorous… More ▸

  • Agri fends off Obama, Iowa governor

    Presidential hopeful Barack Obama jumped into the fray over Agriprocessors yesterday by slamming the company for hiring underage workers (more on that here). Coming on the eve of the DNC convention in Denver, the comment predictably got a lot of attention. But it followed a far lengthier and more damning appraisal of the company by… More ▸

  • Show me the money!!

    I asked Rabby Fully Eisenberger, one of the sources for my story yesterday about paying Jewish students to study Torah, for a photo to go along with the piece. He sent us this one. Not sure exactly what this is intended to illustrate – perhaps Plan B if the $500 dollar incentive isn’t enough? On… More ▸

  • More on the Andy Neff minyan

    After reading JTA’s column by a Bear Stearns “refugee” that includes a story about a mincha minyan at Bear Stearns moving over to J.P. Morgan when Bear collapsed, the editorialists at The New York Sun note the irony of the once-anti-Semitic “House of Morgan” hosting a daily Jewish prayer service. Andrew Neff’s piece in JTA,… More ▸

  • Help a mentalist out: Are Jewish organizations breaking Shabbos again?

    I’m looking into a story about Jewish organizations veering away from accommodating traditional religious observance. For several years it appeared that Jewish organizations – even those that were not religiously observant – were becoming more sensitive to religious observance – i.e. not holding certain types of events on Saturdays, providing kosher food. But JTA staff… 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 ▸

  • Shidduch emergency crisis

    Shidduch vetting in the Orthodox world has gotten out of control, writes Tamar Snyder in the Wall Street Journal: Just as the economy is headed to recession, the shidduch system is in crisis mode. Or so the rabbis moan, noting the surplus of women eager to marry and the corresponding shortfall in the quality and… More ▸

  • Borat in Israel?

    Sascha Baron Cohen narrates “the running of the Jews” in Borat. The serious-minded former director of Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Yossi Alpher, who also is co-editor of, a Palestinian-Israeli Web site, writes about a close encounter of the Bruno kind in his latest column in the Forward. More ▸

  • Debate on prisoner deal

    Israel has been engaged in heated debate in recent days about the efficacy of trading Arab prisoners with blood on their hands for the remains of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah in July 2006. The Jerusalem Post’s Matthew Wagner weighs in with a piece on what the Jewish sages might have said about this… More ▸