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RCA to review conversion system

RCA to review conversion system

NEW YORK — Tzipporah Laura LaFianza and her family have been living as Orthodox Jews for four years now. They reside in a heavily Jewish suburb of Washington, go to shul every Shabbat and keep a kosher kitchen.

But they’re not Jewish — yet.

A prospective Orthodox convert, LaFianza, 34, is still waiting for the all-clear from the local rabbinical court affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America so she and her family can immerse in the mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath, and formally become Jews.

LaFianza has been working toward conversion under the auspices of Rabbi Barry Freundel, the Washington clergyman arrested two weeks ago for allegedly installing a secret camera in the mikveh adjacent to his Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel Congregation.

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Guiliani protests 'Death of Klinghoffer'

Guiliani protests 'Death of Klinghoffer'NEW YORK — Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be among several New York politicians who are expected to protest at the premiere of “The Death of Klinghoffer” at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. Among the politicians expected to join the rally are Reps. Eliot Engel and Peter King along with former Govs. George Pataki and David Paterson, the New York Observer reported. There will be a “heavy police presence” at the opening, according to the New York Post, which cited police sources....
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Converts say Freundel went well beyond peeping

Converts say Freundel went well beyond peeping  NEW YORK — When Rabbi Barry Freundel asked Bethany Mandel to take a “really long shower” before a “practice dunk” in the mikveh prior to her formal conversion to Judaism, the whole request seemed a bit odd, she says. For one thing, Freundel instructed her to skip the pre-mikveh checklist, which includes things like  trimming nails and getting rid of excess hair and skin. For another, she had never heard of practice dunking. But Mandel eventually bought the rabbi’s explanation:...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:29 )

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El Al may be violating US law

NEW YORK — A New York rabbi-attorney claimed that some El Al Airlines’ policies may violate US law in the wake of delays on flights because haredi Orthodox men refused to sit next to women. Rabbi Iris Richman, posting Sept. 30 on the Facebook page of Jewish Voices Together, cited a federal law that states, “An air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person in air transportation to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry.”...
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Jewish caucus in Congress shrinks

Jewish caucus in Congress shrinksWASHINGTON — From 31 in 2009 to a likely 19 in January, the unofficial Jewish caucus in the US House of Representatives is shrinking fast. Jewish lawmakers have traditionally been the first stop for Jewish lobbyists seeking inroads for their issues, including Israel, the social safety net, and keeping church and state separate. Fewer Jewish lawmakers means the community could lose influence in areas where its voice has been preeminent. “The Jewish community is going to have to work harder...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 September 2014 10:55 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

British Jewish school flunks test triggered by claims on classroom Islamism

Cnaan Liphshiz A British Jewish school failed government inspections on tolerance sparked by complaints that an emphasis on Islam in some public learning institutions has led to “a culture of intimidation.R... [Link]

Ohio U. Student protesters plead not guilty

Anthony Weiss Four students arrested for disrupting an Ohio University student senate meeting rejected a plea bargain and maintained their pleas of “not guilty.” ... [Link]

Three U.S. Jewish groups join Israel’s Labor in opposing Ya’alon bus proposal

Ron Kampeas Three Jewish organizations responded to an appeal by an Israeli Labor party affiliate to press Israel’s government to distance itself from a plan to keep Palestinians off some Israeli buses. ... [Link]

U.S., Israeli security advisers pledge ‘coordination’ on Iran talks

Ron Kampeas The United States and Israel will maintain “unprecedented coordination” as nuclear talks go forward with Iran, the White House said after a summit of the two nation’s security advisers. ... [Link]

U.S. officials banned from Old City on Friday

Ron Kampeas U.S. government officials are banned from entering Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. ... [Link]

Haaretz stands by its explosive Bibi cartoon

Julie Wiener Haaretz, often described as Israel’s New York Times, didn’t do itself any favors Thursday when it published a cartoon featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flying a plane into the World Trad... [Link]

Peruvians arrest alleged Hezbollah operative

Ron Kampeas Israeli media reported that he allegedly was planning an attack on Jewish targets in Peru. ... [Link]

Top U.N. official urges Security Council to address Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ron Kampeas His remarks could signal a readiness by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to champion a Palestinian bid for statehood in the wake of collapsed peace talks. ... [Link]

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