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  • News Brief

    Eng, Taddeo defeated A Chinese-American Jew and a Jewish Latina woman both lost their congressional bids. Democrat Hank Eng, a recent convert to Judaism, was defeated by Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a Republican, in the race for retiring GOP lawmaker Tom Tancredo’s seat. No Democrat has won the seat since it was created… 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 sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • Gay Shuls in N.y., S.F. Set to Release Prayer Books

    Two of the leading gay congregations in the United States are gearing up to publish formal editions of their prayer books, marking the first time that a siddur drafted with the needs of gay and lesbian Jews in mind will be made available to a wide audience. Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York and… More ▸

  • Agri troubles in Brooklyn, too

    The Forward’s Nathaniel Popper, who broke the story of alleged worker mistreatment at the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa in 2006, followed up today with an important story about a unionization struggle at the company’s Brooklyn warehouse. Aside from reports of additional alleged company shenanigans, the story notes that Agri challenged a vote in favor of… More ▸

  • Eliezrie on Agri

    Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, a Chabad rabbi from California and one of the rabbis who visited Agriprocessors’ Postville plant last month, had a piece in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post about his visit. As several people have pointed out, the piece resembles another op-ed on the subject that appeared in the St. Louis Jewish Light. A point by… More ▸

  • Agri saga continues in the Times

    It took more than a week, but the Times today printed six responses to last week’s op-ed by Shmuel Herzfeld criticizing the responses of the major Orthodox groups and calling for a rabbinic investigation of the kosher producer Agriprocessors. Not surprisingly, opinion roughly divides between the rabbis and everyone else. The Orthodox Union and the… More ▸

  • Herzfeld v. Lewin, Round 2

    Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld (he of NYTimes Op-Ed fame) and his congregant Nat Lewin (famed attorney and Agriprocessors defender) are having a little intra-shul spat over the ethics of kosher slaughter. Lewin called Herzfeld a “vigilante” in his response to Herzfeld’s Times article and described his reasoning there as “fallacious.” Now Herzfeld is back for another… More ▸

  • Lewin: Herzfeld assertions are fallacious

    Nat Lewin, the Washington attorney representing Agriprocessors, just sent us a response to Shmuel Herfzeld’s New York Times op-ed last week. Read the response after the jump. REPLY TO RABBI SHMUEL HERZFELD by Nathan Lewin In a front-page article asserting that minors had been hired to work in an Iowa kosher meat-packing plant and in… More ▸

  • Rosh Hashana Girl (and Guy) Come to Israel

    Michelle Citrin and William Levin Dina Kraft, JTA’s Israel Correspondent met up in Jerusalem with singer Michelle Citrin aka Rosh Hashana Girl and her creative partner and friend William Levin. They are the team who brought the world the two YouTube hits “Twenty Things to do with Matzah” and “I Gotta Love You Rosh Hashana”… More ▸

  • Finding Judaism in the Great Outdoors: Two New Guidebooks Show How

    There were about two dozen people on Rabbi Mike Comins’ Torah Trek in Tilden Park here. Most members and friends of Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish Renewal-style community, had hiked a lot. Many had prayed or meditated. Some had done both together. But none, the hikers were to learn, had done it quite this Jewishly. Comins,… More ▸