Yeger Trounces Hikind in NYC District 44 Elections

As predicted by pundits in the course of an unusually acrimonious political contest over New York City’s district 44, Kalman Yeger emerged victorious in the Nov 7, 2017 city elections. He is More »

Inadequate Secular Education in Haredi Schools is a Sword that Cuts Both Ways for Modern-Day Liberals

New York City Department of Education, under prodding from Yaffed, is facing a dilemma: enforce the state law requiring instruction at private schools to be “substantially equivalent” to that which is given in More »

“One of Us” Falls Short

One of Us is the just-released Netflix documentary on the topic of leaving the Haredi sector. Three Haredi “OTD” departees are filmed and interviewed in various stages of their departure. For each More »

Footsteps Board Now in Crosshairs of OTD Activists

The sexual assault accusation that was leveled on an off the derekh (OTD) member of Footsteps, as reported here previously, has now morphed into a new campaign: to purge the Footsteps leadership More »

“Forward” Stirs the Pot on Recent Intra-OTD Sexual Assault Allegation

NOTE: The following is an opinion article. It is a follow-up to a previous article we published. It is meant to refute a slanderous and prejudiced article on the topic published today More »

OTD Sector Roiled by Accusation of Rape

A Note about sources for this article: Some of the information here was gleaned from the nominally private Off The Derech Facebook group. Group rules urge members to be mindful of the More »

Open Orthodoxy Makes Inroads Into Hasidic Williamsburg

The recently revitalized GreenPoint Shul on the Northside of Williamsburg is now headed by Open Orthodox clergy and is attracting New York City residents from many Jewish stripes, including Hasidic neighbors from More »

Is Gezel Akum (stealing from idolators) permitted?

In response to the recent federal indictment of some dozen haredi denizens of Lakewood, NJ over defrauding the federal government, a tiff broke out between two prominent figures in Orthodoxy over whether More »

Brakel Doomed After Being Banned by Rabbi Sternbuch

R. Moshe Sternbuch, Chief of the Jerusalemite “Haredi Community” rabbinical court and its second-in-command, issued a long-awaited and highly-influential halakhic decision today banning the brakel breed of chicken. The decision spells doom More »

The Brakel Controversy: R. Landau Forbids. R. Karelitz Permits

A controversy is presently stirring in Israel among haredi Rabbis and poultry experts: Is the “brakel” kosher? The Brakel (alternately spelled braekel) is a breed of chicken originally confined to Belgium. It More »

Yeger Trounces Hikind in NYC District 44 Elections

As predicted by pundits in the course of an unusually acrimonious political contest over New York City’s district 44, Kalman Yeger emerged victorious in the Nov 7, 2017 city elections. He is taking over the council seat of David Greenfield who had announced his decision not to run for reelection in July 2017. Yeger had

Inadequate Secular Education in Haredi Schools is a Sword that Cuts Both Ways for Modern-Day Liberals

New York City Department of Education, under prodding from Yaffed, is facing a dilemma: enforce the state law requiring instruction at private schools to be “substantially equivalent” to that which is given in public schools, and thereby raise the ire of the politically powerful Hasidic constituency; or, alternatively, ignore the law, and Yaffed and its activist

“One of Us” Falls Short

One of Us is the just-released Netflix documentary on the topic of leaving the Haredi sector. Three Haredi “OTD” departees are filmed and interviewed in various stages of their departure. For each of the subjects, we learn about struggles that are typical to departees: a custody battle with her ex, for Etty; assimilating mainstream culture,

Sharmasher Rav, R. Joel Morgenstern, Dead at 68

R. Joel Morgenstern, the Sharmasher Rav, died Tuesday, October 10, 2017, in the wee hours of the morning in Kiryas Joel, Monroe, NY, at the age of 68. As a distinguished disciple of R. Yoelish Teitelbaum, he was admired by multitudes of Satmar and Satmar-aligned Hasidim for his piety and adherence to the Satmar shittoh

Footsteps Board Now in Crosshairs of OTD Activists

The sexual assault accusation that was leveled on an off the derekh (OTD) member of Footsteps, as reported here previously, has now morphed into a new campaign: to purge the Footsteps leadership of any influence by those who are not zealous enough in pursuing to the newly updated strict standards of sexual propriety being hailed

“Forward” Stirs the Pot on Recent Intra-OTD Sexual Assault Allegation

NOTE: The following is an opinion article. It is a follow-up to a previous article we published. It is meant to refute a slanderous and prejudiced article on the topic published today by The Forward. We urge you to read it first, before proceeding with our analysis thereof. The Forward, after researching the recent sexual

OTD Sector Roiled by Accusation of Rape

A Note about sources for this article: Some of the information here was gleaned from the nominally private Off The Derech Facebook group. Group rules urge members to be mindful of the fact that some members are “still in the closet” and to be respectful of that by “not reposting anything from this group”. Nevertheless,

Open Orthodoxy Makes Inroads Into Hasidic Williamsburg

The recently revitalized GreenPoint Shul on the Northside of Williamsburg is now headed by Open Orthodox clergy and is attracting New York City residents from many Jewish stripes, including Hasidic neighbors from South Williamsburg (also known geographically as Hasidic Williamsburg and The Williamsburg Triangle). Under the pastorship of its recently named Rabbi, Maurice Appelbaum, the

Is Gezel Akum (stealing from idolators) permitted?

In response to the recent federal indictment of some dozen haredi denizens of Lakewood, NJ over defrauding the federal government, a tiff broke out between two prominent figures in Orthodoxy over whether such stealing is halakhically forbidden. The exchange was initated by R. Ysoscor Katz, an immensely learned Rabbi who grew up haredi but is

Brakel Doomed After Being Banned by Rabbi Sternbuch

R. Moshe Sternbuch, Chief of the Jerusalemite “Haredi Community” rabbinical court and its second-in-command, issued a long-awaited and highly-influential halakhic decision today banning the brakel breed of chicken. The decision spells doom for the brakel’s investors who have plunged an estimated three million dollars into the enterprise. The controversy over the brakel has been raging

The Brakel Controversy: R. Landau Forbids. R. Karelitz Permits

A controversy is presently stirring in Israel among haredi Rabbis and poultry experts: Is the “brakel” kosher? The Brakel (alternately spelled braekel) is a breed of chicken originally confined to Belgium. It does not appear to have been a familiar breed to European Haredi Jews before WWII (notwithstanding some recent testimony to the contrary) and

Federal Indictment of Satmar-Aaron School Officers in Fraud of At-Risk After-School Meal Program

A federal indictment was filed on August 10, 2017 in the Eastern District of New York against two officers in the Aaronite-Satmar Williamsburg school system: Elozor Porges and Joel Lowy. The indictment alleges that the officers submitted false reimbursement requests to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for a joint federal-state food program