I didn’t think I still had to do this, but… The idea that because I am not Haredi I cannot/should not speak out against erasing women is ridiculous. I am a Jew. Born and raised in Lakewood, NJ, thank you very much.

I recall when Jews were Jews, not Haredi, Dati Leumi, Open Orthodox, Ultra Orthodox, Modren Orthodox etc. We all said Good Shabbes to one another on or way to shul — even the Conservative and Reform(!) Jews. I recall when people respected one another – even when they didn’t agree, even when they lived differently.

I recall the two bakeries we all used together. The lines we stood on and the papers we bought — none of which treated women as pariahs. Continue reading

An army vehicle was stoned Monday by extremist Haredim in Beit Shemesh. The soldier hit a pole and was taken to the hospital.

In response, it was decided to have a demonstration at the corner where he had been stoned in the Ramat Beit Shemesh neighborhood. We gathered. We sang Hatikva. Some waved flags, I Facebook-lived.

Early on at the demonstration. (Menachem Lipkin)

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‘Jewish tradition and Halacha have become stagnant’

Many consider Nathan Lopes Cardozo a rabbi for the new millennium. He pulls no punches in telling ‘Metro’ how Judaism and the rabbinic establishment can begin to respond to the current reality, with a ‘completely different type of Halacha’ for the State of Israel’s unique needs

• By SHOSHANNA KEATS-JASKOLL   Originally published in In Jerusalem Sept 15, 2017

Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has an unusual background for a rabbi. Perhaps that is why his thinking is so different from that of other rabbis, and why he can say the things he says. Or perhaps other rabbis feel similarly, but do not have the confidence or fearlessness that is so evident when Cardozo speaks.

Whatever the reason, his belief in the justice of Judaism, the morality with which we are charged, and the capacity we have to resolve the seemingly unresolvable gives hope that the Judaism and ethics we hold so dear can in fact work together to produce the society that many of us want to see.

Cardozo grew up in Holland. His father was a secular Jew of Portuguese-Jewish origin; his mother was a Christian who had always felt at home in the Jewish community, which had taken her in when she was orphaned.

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I’ve always been jealous of those who were able to directly impact people’s lives for the better. Lawyers who petition the court for people’s civil rights, religious court advocates who work to free agunot, religious court judges who facilitate a divorce with a bit less pain, and rabbis who officiate marriages and conversions. So, when Rabbi Chuck Davidson asked for volunteers to be balaniot (mikveh attendants) for a conversion that he was conducting, I jumped at the chance.

Rabbi Davidson has been promoting Orthodox conversion in Israel outside of the Chief Rabbinate for nearly a decade. He converts those who are fed up with the Rabbinate’s difficult and drawn-out conversion procedure, those who don’t want to be affiliated with the Rabbinate for political reasons, or those who want a friendlier yet still halachic conversion. He also helps people from other countries convert outside of centralized frameworks under the control of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.

To date, he’s helped hundreds of men and women join the Jewish people.

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