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Who requires what for conversion?

ORTHODOX

Number of converts: Unknown. Over the last seven years, approximately 1,275 conversions have been certified by conversion courts affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America, but plenty of Orthodox conversions take place outside the RCA’s system.

Ritual: Approval by a three-judge religious court comprised of three Orthodox men (usually rabbis), male circumcision (or, for circumcised men, symbolic drawing of blood at the place of circumcision) and ritual immersion in a mikvah.

Requirements: Commitment to performing all the Torah’s commandments according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law.

Preparation: In most cases, regular study with a rabbi and/or religious mentor.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 October 2014 09:22 )

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Holiday Features

Is a lunar eclipse on Sukkot an ominous sign?

Is a lunar eclipse on Sukkot an ominous sign?LOS ANGELES — As we usher in Sukkot, will there be a blood moon rising? John Hagee, the San Antonio pastor who wrote the book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change, would have us believe so. Hagee predicts that because of a cycle of four lunar eclipses called a tetrad — two this year and next on Passover and Sukkot — that something big is about to happen, like the Rapture. The eclipse will be seen throughout much of the world on Oct. 7 and 8 — the latter the eve of Sukkot. It...
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Features

South African anti-apartheid activist argues for Israel

South African anti-apartheid activist argues for IsraelBenjamin Pogrund, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a muffin in the other, surveys the empty computer room at Holiday Inn Cherry Creek. He nods. “I think this will do.” Now 81, Pogrund smashed the prohibition on reporting about blacks in apartheid South Africa at the Rand Daily Mail. Despite threats, surveillance and imprisonment, he wrote major investigative articles on apartheid as a journalist and later deputy editor. Together with editor Laurence Gandar, Pogrund revolutionized re...
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Holiday Features

Why fast on Yom Kippur?

HERUT Shitrid vividly recalls the first Yom Kippur she fasted. She was only 10, but somehow she was able to make it through the whole day. “I felt proud,” she says nearly two decades later. “I was so proud that I could do it.” These days, Shitrid spends much of her time serenading with her harp the passers-by at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. But back when she was growing up in the southern Israeli city Beersheba, fasting on Yom Kippur was one way to emulate the adults’ proces...
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Features

Museum for Human Rights stirs controversy with larger focus on Holocaust

Museum for Human Rights stirs controversy with larger focus on HolocaustTORONTO — On the fourth floor of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, visitors will find a gallery called “Examining the Holocaust,” which is devoted entirely to its story and lessons. On the same floor, in a smaller, adjacent space, a gallery called “Breaking the Silence” examines a cluster of five genocides officially recognized by the Canadian government: the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia; the Armenian and Rwandan genocides; the Holodomor, or the starvation of millions of Ukra...

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 September 2014 11:57 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

Ron Kampeas The island nation’s Jewish organizations can be much more in the open with the historic deal that freed Alan Gross and reopened U.S. ties to Cuba. ... [Link]

Alan Gross credits Jewish efforts for his release from Cuba

Uriel Heilman The Jewish-American contractor offered special thanks to the Washington Jewish community. ... [Link]

Despite passionate reactions, EU ruling on Hamas is a small legal glitch

Cnaan Liphshiz Hamas is no longer on the EU terror list, but that’s more for procedural than ideological reasons. And it will likely be reinstated soon. ... [Link]

Dieudonne seeks accord with France’s Jewish community

Cnaan Liphshiz The French comedian, following years of punitive measures for inciting racial hatred against Jews, says he wants to meet with French Jewish leaders and “move forward.” ... [Link]

European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood

Cnaan Liphshiz The nonbinding measure says recognition should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks with Israel. ... [Link]

Alan Gross released amid U.S.-Cuba rapprochement

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration insisted the agreement to release the Jewish-American contractor was technically separate from sweeping changes in policy toward the island nation, including a return to full ... [Link]

Australian commission to probe how Chabad handled abuse claims

Ron Kampeas Some of Australia’s most senior Orthodox rabbis have already been subpoenaed to supply documents ahead of the hearing starting Feb. 2 in Melbourne. ... [Link]

Kerry: Talk of U.N. statehood recognition for Palestinians ‘premature’

Ron Kampeas Palestinian officials said they hoped to advance a statehood recognition resolution this week through the Security Council. ... [Link]

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