Young Advocates For Fair Education, or YAFFED, is an NYC-based advocacy group of Orthodox Jewish youth and young adults who complain that their limited high school educations left them ill-equipped to support themselves as adults, and demand that the New York City and New York State education departments enforce laws on minimum school standards. Recently the ED of YAFFED co-wrote an op-ed, Why Do Jewish Leaders Keep Ignoring Ultra-Orthodox Education Crisis?
"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.' I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version at JewFem blog.]
"Trading Faith for Wonder: On Judaism's Literary Legacy". The LARB reviews Jews And Words, by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger. [more inside]
Chaim Levin appeared in a video as part of the It Gets Better project (previously). A staff reporter for the Jewish Press criticised Chaim (referred to as "Dovid") in an op-ed; Chaim's response led to threats against the paper, which has now supported Chaim and declared that it "won't be silenced". [more inside]
Nearly three decades after Israel began airlifting Ethiopia's ancient Jewish community out of the Horn of Africa, Israel's rabbis are now working to phase out the community's white-turbaned clergy, the kessoch, whose unusual religious practices are at odds with the rabbinate's Orthodox Judaism. [more inside]
Nice Jewish Girl is an unmarried orthodox Jew. She started a blog six years ago. She wrote about being Shomer Negiah (not allowing herself physical contact with men other than relatives or a husband) and being a woman in her mid-thirties that has never kissed a man. Over the run of the blog, she decided to stop being Shomer Negiah while still looking for an Orthodox husband, kissed a man, and then broke up with him. For the last three years, she has been silent. Recently, she has returned to discuss the effect of Jewish law on her view of sex.
For Orthodox Jewish mothers with small children, the Shabbat can be challenging. The answer, for many communities, is the establishment of an eruv (discussed previously here, in passing). This San Francisco Chronicle article details the history behind Berkeley, California's unique instance. This isn't the first time an eruv has been attempted in the Bay Area: the failed effort to create one in Palo Alto was covered by the Chronicle, as well as the Jewish News Weekly. Berkeley isn't the only United States city with an eruv—the Boston eruv maintains a large list of domestic and international eruvim—nor is it the city with the most unusual eruv, or even the largest. Inevitably, perhaps, there's a blog entirely dedicated to the subject of eruvim, and vigorous commentary on the subject from several others.