Orthodox Modesty Culture Under Fire As ‘Sex-Positive’ Spaces Emerge

Posted on November 20th, 2017
BY HANNAH DREYFUS for jewishweek.timesofisrael


Orthodox Vagina Monologues expands, days schools re-examining modesty education as Weinstein effect lingers.


Ayala Tiefenbrunn, a 21-year-old design student at FIT and an Orthodox young-married, took the mic in front of 75 people a few months ago. She took a deep breath and launched into a personal essay about her tortured relationship with birth control.

While acute communal and social pressure dictated that she and her husband start “trying,” her young age and professional aspirations kept her dutifully on the pill. But, she said, the choice isn’t easy. “Every time I don’t see a friend for a few months and she’s pregnant, it hurts a little — I so want to be there.”

Married at 19, Tiefenbrunn addressed an audience of young, predominantly Orthodox women; she wore a silver and blue head wrap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a layered top. Later, she confessed, “I constantly feel guilty because I’m on birth control.”

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What Unites And Divides Israeli Americans And Their Fellow Jews: A Conference Takes A Look

Posted on November 13th, 2017
BY RON KAMPEAS for The Jewish Week


Not long ago Yahel Epel, a volunteer with the Israeli American Council, fulfilled her assigned mission: She assembled 200 Jews, half of them Israeli American, in a room in Denver on a Friday evening for a potluck dinner and a Shishi Yisraeli program.

Shishi Yisraeli, a program launched by IAC that means “Israeli Friday evening,” seeks a happy medium between what those with and without Israeli roots or backgrounds would enjoy on a Friday night. The idea: Get them together. Create community.

How did it go?

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We know where Amazon is building next

Posted on November 6th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 


While the tech giant searches for a new home in the U.S., it is already planning two new R&D centers in Israel.


This summer, Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters somewhere in North America. That news set off a parlor game du jour, with everyone weighing in on what city the tech giant would pick. Would it be Atlanta, Boston, Denver? Perhaps a small college town in Texas? Bringing with it jobs and infrastructure, the high-stakes move is sure to be a boon for whichever city gets chosen. One Georgia town made news this week when it offered to change its name to Amazon.

While the quest for a new headquarters in the U.S. continues, it seems Amazon has made some decisions on another front. The Seattle-based e-retailer will be opening two R&D centers in Israel – one will be in Tel Aviv and the other in Haifa. The labs, which will employ about 100 engineers, will work exclusively on the company’s Alexa voice-operated device.

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How this pristine 15th-century Hebrew Bible survived the Inquisition

Posted on October 30th, 2017
By Cnaan Liphshiz for JTA


From its mountaintop perch, the University of Coimbra towers majestically over the downtown square that used to be the regional headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition.

It’s a fitting location for the 737-year-old university, the seventh oldest in the world, which outsmarted and outlived the campaign of persecution against Jews and freethinkers unleashed by the Catholic Church and Portugal’s rulers in 1536.

“This place was almost literally an ivory tower of knowledge during those dark times,” António Eugénio Maia do Amaral, assistant director of the university’s 500-year-old library, recently told JTA.

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Jewish Population in Ireland Rises by 30%, Much to Surprise of Local Community

Posted on October 23rd, 2017
By Haaretz.com Staff on eJewishPhilanthropy


Emerald Isle now boasts its highest number of Jews since 1971, thanks to influx of young professionals working with U.S. high-tech firms.


Arresting a decades-long decline, the Jewish population in Ireland rose by nearly 30 percent between 2011 and 2016, The Irish Times reported Friday.

According to the 2016 Irish census, there are now 2,557 Jews in Ireland, a 28.9 percent increase from 2011, when the last census was taken. Over half of all Jews in Ireland (1,539) live in the capital, Dublin.

The figures came to a surprise to many, since the Jewish population of Ireland was thought to be in terminal decline after reaching a high of nearly 4,000 in 1946. The 2016 figure was the highest recorded since the 1971 census.

The Irish Times attributed the increase to the influx of young Jewish professionals working with high-tech U.S. multinational firms, which have set up offices in the Emerald Isle.

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