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 »

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 More »

In OTD-Haredi Custody Disputes Courts Should Use “Marital Lifestyle Choice” as Standard

NOTICE: The following is an opinion piece prompted largely by the Weisberger v. Weisberger case. I urge you to read the HN factual report on it before you proceed, if you are More »

NY Court Awards Partial Custody of Hasidic children to OTD Divorcee, Setting Precedent

New York State Supreme Court’s “Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department” today awarded partial custody of three Hasidic children to their divorced OTD (off the derekh) mother, Chava Weisberger, overturning a lower court 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 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

In OTD-Haredi Custody Disputes Courts Should Use “Marital Lifestyle Choice” as Standard

NOTICE: The following is an opinion piece prompted largely by the Weisberger v. Weisberger case. I urge you to read the HN factual report on it before you proceed, if you are not yet familiar with the case. As the phenomenon of people leaving the their Ultra-orthodox communities increases, so does that of parental dispute

NY Court Awards Partial Custody of Hasidic children to OTD Divorcee, Setting Precedent

New York State Supreme Court’s “Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department” today awarded partial custody of three Hasidic children to their divorced OTD (off the derekh) mother, Chava Weisberger, overturning a lower court ruling that had awarded full custody to their observant Hasidic father on the argument that she had abrogated a 2008 divorce settlement to

Fire Erupts in Barrons Bungalow Colony

A fire erupted on Monday in the Barron’s bungalow located on the on the Rt 42 hasidic corridor in Fallsburg, NY. The fire, caused by an electronic heater, completely engulfed the bungalow of the Horowitz family and damaged an adjacent one. The heater was used, even though it is summer, because it often gets windy

Hasidic Expansion in Fleischmann’s Prompts Altercation with Locals

The village of Fleischmanns in upstate New York was the scene of an altercation this past shabbos between Hasidic vacationers and local residents. The conflict centers on the recent Hasidic expansion in the village, a natural result of the rapid growth of the hasidic sector, but one that long-time residents of this laid-back idyllic village