Why Do People Still Believe Moti Elon is Innocent?

Rabbi Moti Elon with microphone

In 2010, well-known religious Zionist rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon was accused by the religious forum Takana of forcible sexual acts on young men who approached him for counseling. Last December, Elon was convicted and sentenced to six months of community service. It's hard to imagine the shock … [Read more...]

Return to the Western Wall, Passover 2013

Rahel Jaskow's photo essay on equality at the kotel, Separate and Unequal at the Western Wall, prompted much commentary. She decided to return with her camera over the Passover holiday to document any  differences. Here is her report. Return to the Western Wall: Passover 2013 by Rahel … [Read more...]

Modern Israeli Baby Girl Names, April 2013

Mother and baby israeli names

G. writes: I love your blog! especially the baby names sections but I wanted to ask for myself specifically. I am due to have a baby girl B'H at the end of the month and I am thinking of baby girl names that have a nice meaning, sound nice in English (I am from Australia), are a little … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Boy’s Name Help

Free offer: I published an eBook, Cook Smart! Learn the Secrets of Your Kitchen Appliances. Today and tomorrow, it will be available for free download. If you don't have a Kindle you can get a free reader for your smartphone or PC. Reader Samantha asks for baby name help: Hi! I'd really … [Read more...]

“Jerusalem is Full of Frechot”

In my last post, I wrote about the techniques used by a charedi Jerusalem school to discourage sephardic girls from applying. But subtle discrimination against sephardim (Jews with family origins in Moslem countries) occurs in all sectors. A friend of mine is looking for a junior high school for … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Name Queries: December 2012

Baby in blue sleeping peacefully

I get a lot of inquiries about Hebrew and Israeli baby names. There are lots of lists on the internet, but they don't give you the context you need to make a wise decision. Here are a few recent questions: Adam: Need Help with name for boy named after Saba Shmuel ( we don't like Shmuel or … [Read more...]

What Are the Gift-Giving Customs in Israel?

Wrapped gifts

Several years ago Parents Magazine contacted me about a story it was doing on parenting around the world. The inquiry led to What Defines Israeli Parenting, a raucous discussion, and a second highly charged post about Israeli "rudeness." Recently, a gift website asked me to help out for a series … [Read more...]

Last Days of Ozerow: My Father’s Holocaust Memoir

In the 1980's, my father, Ben Zion Wacholder, began writing a memoir of his World War II experience in Poland. Unfortunately we only have two chapters, as the rest was on a computer that got stolen. My niece, Shifra Goldenberg, edited the chapters with help from the family and published them on a … [Read more...]

Street Violence in Beit Shemesh

Last week a Beit Shemesh woman named Natalie Mashiach drove into Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, an area occupied by extremist haredim. Dressed in a sweater and pants, Mashiach got out of her car to hang signs as part of her job for the national lottery. A group of men poured bleach on her and attacked her … [Read more...]

News and Links on Beit Shemesh

Since the documentary aired last week (now updated with clearer subtitles), the girls of Orot in Beit Shemesh have been able to get to school with no problem. The publicity achieved its immediate goal. Whether it will work in the long term remains to be seen. Some of the haredi response has … [Read more...]