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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

Senators call for full funding for joint U.S.-Israel defense systems

Marcy Oster The programs include the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system as well as the David’s Sling and Arrow weapons systems. ... [Link]

Virginia State Bar cancels Jerusalem seminar, cites ‘discriminatory’ border policies

Marcy Oster The president of the state agency said the trip was canceled due to concerns that “many of its members” would not be let in to Israel. ... [Link]

ZAKA rescue team heading to Germanwings crash site

Marcy Oster The eight volunteers from the rescue organization will assist in the search and recovery mission, including working to find the remains of Eyal Baum, an Israeli citizen. ... [Link]

These 5 new Haggadahs are keepers

Gabrielle Birkner Every year, a sea of a new Haggadahs vies for our attention, money and a seat at our seder table. JTA sorts through this year’s crop. ... [Link]

Haggadah collection includes pop-up books, world’s tiniest seder guide

Gabrielle Birkner The University of Michigan was recently given a massive and eclectic collection of Passover Haggadahs. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: At Passover time, remember those struggling with infertility

Gabrielle Birkner Every Passover we read the section of Exodus that reminds us to keep in mind the convert, the orphan and the widow. To this group, add those longing for a child, blogger Amy Klein writes. ... [Link]

Report: Many Jewish leaders sought leniency for Met Council’s Rapfogel

Marcy Oster The Rapfogel backers included 19 rabbis, several politicians, and some of the most prominent Jewish leaders in New York City and the country, according to the investigative report on the City & State ... [Link]

Netanyahu to visiting senators: Proposed deal ‘paves way’ for Iranian bomb

Marcy Oster Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said the U.S. delegation in Israel shared the Israeli prime minister’s concerns about the potential agreement. ... [Link]

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