Religion & Jewish Life

Lies, silence surround flouting of Poland’s kosher slaughter ban

(JTA) — After a Polish court tossed out a government regulation permitting kosher slaughter in 2012, Poland’s $500 million ritual slaughter industry was expected to be brought to its knees. Evidence shows, however, that not only was kosher slaughter still being performed in Poland as recently as this month, but also that kosher meat producers [...]

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Gary Shteyngart has "mixed" feelings about his years of Jewish day school.  (Brigitte Lacombe)
Gary Shteyngart has "mixed" feelings about his years of Jewish day school. (Brigitte Lacombe)

Gary Shteyngart’s super sad true Schechter school story

 NEW YORK (JTA) — If it is true that there is no such thing as bad publicity, then Gary Shteyngart may be one of the best things to happen to the Conservative movement’s at-times-beleaguered Schechter Day School Network. Shteyngart, the Soviet Jewish immigrant writer known for acclaimed comic novels like “Absurdistan” and “Super Sad True [...]

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Owner Eddie Gottlieb, left, celebrating the Philadelphia Warriors winning the 1955-56 NBA championship. (Courtesy NBA Photos)
Owner Eddie Gottlieb, left, celebrating the Philadelphia Warriors winning the 1955-56 NBA championship. (Courtesy NBA Photos)

Philly historian scores in bid to have NBA pioneer Eddie Gottlieb honored

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Celeste Morello isn’t Jewish or a sports fan, and has never attended a professional basketball game. But a passion for history — particularly Philadelphia history — prompted her to seek recognition for the hoops pioneer Eddie Gottlieb. Morello succeeded last week when the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved her application for [...]

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Partnership minyans grow among the Orthodox grassroots, despite leaders’ condemnations

NEW YORK (JTA) — If it wasn’t clear before, it should be abundantly clear now: The Orthodox establishment will not sanction so-called partnership minyans, and it’s willing to go to the mat to fight them. In recent weeks, a flurry of articles by leading Orthodox rabbis and scholars have taken aim at the growing phenomenon [...]

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A man shoots a slingshot at national guard troops following one of the largest anti-government demonstrations yet on March 2, 2014 in Caracus, Venezuela. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A man shoots a slingshot at national guard troops following one of the largest anti-government demonstrations yet on March 2, 2014 in Caracus, Venezuela. (John Moore/Getty Images)

With Venezuela in a tailspin, growing number of Jews opting for ‘Plan B’

 (JTA) — They left after Venezuelan secret police raided a Jewish club in 2007, and after the local synagogue was ransacked by unidentified thugs two years later. They left after President Hugo Chavez expelled Israel’s ambassador to Caracas, and when he called on Venezuela’s Jews to condemn Israel for its actions in Gaza in 2009. [...]

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Stan Fischler is flanked by producer Glenn Petraitis, left, and co-host Peter Ruttgaizer at the Nassau Coliseum set of their pregame and postgame shows. (Hillel Kuttler)
Stan Fischler is flanked by producer Glenn Petraitis, left, and co-host Peter Ruttgaizer at the Nassau Coliseum set of their pregame and postgame shows. (Hillel Kuttler)

For Stan Fischler, ‘The Hockey Maven,’ it’s all about the game — and Israel, too

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (JTA) – As the Boston Bruins buzz the Islanders net throughout the opening period of a game at the Nassau Coliseum, Stan Fischler is standing 10 feet behind the Plexiglas to the left of New York goaltender Kevin Poulin. Fischler, a hockey broadcaster for four decades, can feel the rattling boards of forechecking [...]

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Move to repatriate Spanish Jews prompts frenzy, but excitement may be premature

MADRID, Spain (JTA) — News that Spain is proposing to offer citizenship to the descendants of Jews expelled in the 15th and 16th centuries spread like wildfire in Israel. Within hours of the Spanish government’s announcement last month, the Israeli website Ynet published a list of family names supposedly eligible for citizenship that contained some [...]

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Hundreds of thousands of haredi Orthodox Jews protesting a measure to draft them into the Israeli military, March 2, 2014. (Yaakov Naumi/FLASH90)
Hundreds of thousands of haredi Orthodox Jews protesting a measure to draft them into the Israeli military, March 2, 2014. (Yaakov Naumi/FLASH90)

As draft law nears passage, haredi Israelis take to streets

 JERUSALEM (JTA) — Beneath banners invoking historic calamities from the Egyptian enslavement to the Holocaust, hundreds of thousand of haredi Orthodox men gathered on the streets of Jerusalem to recite psalms and penitential prayers as they inveighed against an enemy they consider on par with Hitler and the ancient pharaohs. “We endured Pharaoh. We endured [...]

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Israeli Arab children at a school in Baqa al-Gharblyye reading books from the Lantern Library, a spinoff of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's PJ Library. (Akmal Nagnagy/Harold Grinspoon Foundation)
Israeli Arab children at a school in Baqa al-Gharblyye reading books from the Lantern Library, a spinoff of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's PJ Library. (Akmal Nagnagy/Harold Grinspoon Foundation)

PJ Library, Jewish kids’ books provider, expands to Arab sector

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Religion News Service article about the PJ Library is headlined “Free books — 10 million of them — help keep Jewish kids Jewish.” Now the foundation behind the widely lauded nine-year-old program — which distributes free books to more than 130,000 Jewish children in the United States, Canada, Mexico and [...]

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In this Nov. 24, 2013 loss to the College of Elizabeth, Yeshiva University Maccabees forward Rebecca Yoshor, No. 34, grabbed 22 rebounds, a category in which she leads the nation. (Courtesy of Yeshiva University Sports Information Office)
In this Nov. 24, 2013 loss to the College of Elizabeth, Yeshiva University Maccabees forward Rebecca Yoshor, No. 34, grabbed 22 rebounds, a category in which she leads the nation. (Courtesy of Yeshiva University Sports Information Office)

Head of the glass: Yeshiva U.’s Rebecca Yoshor excelling on and off court

NEW YORK (JTA) — Watching Rebecca Yoshor in action for the Yeshiva University women’s basketball team, the skills are evident: the shotmaking, quickness, leadership and court smarts. They are skills honed in what her father describes as “fierce games” with her brothers and the neighborhood kids in the driveway of her Houston home and playing [...]

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