Everything Is Okay, Except when It Isn’t: A Fresh Approach to Jewish Education

Review: Not at Risk by Menachem Gottesman Ph.D. with Leah Leslie Gottesman, M.A. I cried while reading Not at Risk: Education as a Work of Heart, the story of the alternative Jerusalem high school Meled. Meled, which stands for Merkaz Lemida Dati (center for religious learning) was founded by the … [Read more...]

A Surprising and Touching Inquiry into My Father’s Polish Past

As long-time readers know, my father Ben Zion Wacholder was born in Ozarow, Poland and survived the Holocaust, living in Germany with false papers hiding his Jewish identity. A few months ago, we received an email from a man named Lukasz Rzepka, who wrote: I'm a doctoral student of theology at … [Read more...]

Judge Threatens Jail over Beit Shemesh Modesty Signs

Update December 4, 2017 from the Chochmat Nashim Facebook page:  Supreme Court Judge Hanan Meltzer said, "There is no such thing in the State of Israel as a road that is closed to women, nor will there be. As far as we are concerned, there should be a police presence day and night and any woman … [Read more...]

Rosh Hashanah Survival Guide–Updated for 2017/5778

I first wrote the checklist below ten years ago. I'm republishing it as a new post, for the third time. I've also set up a page with the best posts about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Some of the tips below only apply when Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbat or leads into Shabbat. Don't hesitate to … [Read more...]

Illegal Adoption Ring of Israeli Babies Exposed

Here is my loose translation of Part II of Ariela Sternbach and Yehuda Shochat's reporting in Ynet on a widespread adoption ring, in which American haredi askanim prey on young Israeli women and girls with unwanted pregnancies. 9 years ago, Tal Terezi's daughter was kidnapped and … [Read more...]

Most Popular Israeli Girls’ Names 2014

The Israeli Central Bureau for Statistics announced the ten most popular names for 2014. It usually takes them a whole year to analyze them.  Biblical and animal names dominate the list, along with two-syllable names. Here's the rundown: Noa. This biblical name has been the number one girl's … [Read more...]

Motherhood, Careers, and Guilt at Tzohar Panel

This article appeared in the "In Jerusalem" supplement of the Jerusalem Post on March 25, 2016. Balancing motherhood and careers, with the help of Tzohar By Hannah Katsman Since the early days of the kibbutz, Israeli mothers have been working outside the home. Yet the conflict between motherhood … [Read more...]

The dangers of rolling back the core educational curriculum

The following appeared in the Jerusalem Post supplement, "In Jerusalem," on July 29, 2016. Reprinted with permission. The dangers of rolling back the core educational curriculum at haredi boys’ schools. By Hannah Katsman I recently ran into a speech pathologist who teaches university … [Read more...]

Fasting for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women when 9 Av Postponed to Sunday: Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon

I've written several posts about Jewish law regarding fasting for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Yesterday, in the alon "Shabbat beShabbato," Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon of the Machon LeHalachah UleHoraah and head of the Beit Midrash (study hall) at Machon Lev, discussed a special case that occurs … [Read more...]

Update: Offer Rescinded. Indicted Sex-Offender Ezra Sheinberg Awaiting Trial; May Move to Kibbutz Hafetz Hayim

Update: Rabbi Horowitz rescinded the offer. Public pressure works. Often, it is the only thing that works. The only question remains, will parents be willing to keep their daughters in the school under Horowitz's management, or will they demand that he be fired, as some parents have … [Read more...]