Update about Amanda and Michael Elk/Elkohen/Tzadok

French Hill neighborhood. Credit: Rotem Danzig Dear readers, I am here after a long break to post an important update about an older post. In around 2010, I was in touch with a fellow blogger named Michael Elkohen, a self-styled sefardi "kabbalist." An interview with him appeared on Alan … [Read more...]

Choices in Religious High Schools for Girls in Israel

Four years ago, when my younger daughter was in 6th grade, I looked for an alternative to the standard ulpana (high school for girls in the national religious sector). After enrolling her in a new program in Tel Aviv, I became interested in innovations in other schools. This ultimately led an … [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...]

Guest Post: Rehabilitating the Reputation of Rabbi Tully Bryks

In December, 2014, I posted about the attempt by Rabbi Tully Bryks to start a new seminary. It was one of my most controversial posts ever, as Bryks has many supporters among the English-speaking community here in Israel who feel that an injustice has been done.   Ever since then, my friend … [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...]

Did Shalit’s Family Go Too Far?

Happy Israel Independence Day! Check out this slide show over at Elder of Ziyon. We watched the Yom Haatzmaut celebration on line. Each year, twelve people are chosen to light torches that represent the twelve tribes. The theme this year was mutual aid. Three unusual things happened. The … [Read more...]

Fire Rages in Carmel, PM Says “We Have Never Experienced a Disaster Like This”

I'm listening to the radio. A huge fire is raging in the Carmel forest, near Haifa. Nearly everyone from Kibbutz Beit Oren was evacuated, and only a few of the buildings are left. The fire is spreading in all directions. The kibbutzim of Ein Hud, Ein Oz and Nir Etzion have received orders to … [Read more...]

Jerusalem’s New Mother-Friendly US Consulate

Please welcome Chana Jenny Weisberg for today's guest post. Mazal tov on your new baby, Chana! Until recently, I found registering new babies at Jerusalem's US Consulate almost as harrowing as the births themselves. So when I went to register the birth of my baby at the brand new US consulate … [Read more...]

Memories of RivkA bat Yishaya z”l

They say that some people are naturally cheerful, and this grants them emotional protection from their troubles throughout their lives. Whether she was born with it, or it was the result of growing up in a loving and responsive family, RivkA Matitya z"l had this quality. And her cheerfulness was … [Read more...]

Beware Counterfeit Ten-Shekel Coins

These pictures of real and counterfeit Israeli 10-Shekel coins were taken by Meir Sapir in 2003. Many counterfeit coins are still in circulation. Can you tell which ones are fake? Image source: WBCC Answer: The coins on the left are counterfeit. They weigh less (@morgetz said on Twitter … [Read more...]