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 »

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

Saul Klein Identifies Luxury as the Great Pitfall for Hasidim

In a telephonic lecture this past Tishoh beav, Saul Klein excoriated the haredi trend to pursue luksus (luxury) at the expense of basic necessities and a profanation of God’s name. The 40-minute lecture was given in a program called hotzi shiur (half measure) accessible on the Kol Mevaser telephone hotline. Klein belongs to the Old

Myths and Facts about Conscription of Yeshiva Students

Statement 1: The IDF is arresting haredim who do not conscript. Myth. The arrests that can be seen in many Youtube-published videos are for obstructing traffic or throwing rocks at police during anti-conscription demonstrations. The IDF does not currently try to apprehend military service evaders and it is doubtful that it ever intends to do

Interview with Abraham Klein Sheds New Light on the Malky Klein Drug Overdose

In a 70-minute interview last week, Abraham Klein, father of recently deceased Malky Klein relates the full story of his daughter’s life which ultimately led to a fatal overdose on heroin last month. Many details about the girl emerged in the interview, including the circumstances that led to her ejection from high school and a

Satmar Brothers Divided Over How to Cope with Conscription of Yeshivists

It would have been hard to imagine this a few years back, but R. Aaron is now emphatically opposed to activist campaigns to protest the conscription of yeshiva students in Israel, such as the demonstration his brother R. Zalman organized in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in June. Despite his fealty to the Satmar dynasty’s legacy opposition

New York State Law Specifies that Arbitrations May Take Place on Sunday

A New law recently passed by both houses of the New York state legislature specifies that statutory arbitrations (that are legally binding on the parties) may take place on Sunday. This new law at last puts to rest a a centuries-old confusion and uncertainty regarding whether arbitrations are considered judicial proceedings and prohibited on Sundays

The Campaign to Rescue The French Children by Satmar-Zalman

Satmar-Zalmanites are at present engaged in a campaign to “rescue” French children from the Zionist snare that allegedly seeks to lead them into apostasy (shemad). It is the latest spiritual rescue initiative in a string of many spearheaded by Satmar over the past half century. Such rescue campaigns are premised on the belief that Jewish

In Defense of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans

R. Shlomo Helbrans, Rabbi of the Lev Tahor yeshiva in Monsey, NY, drowned to death this past Friday while ritually bathing in a river in Mexico. While conspiracy theories do exist that implicate such elements as the Israeli Mosad and aggrieved family members of his adherents, circumstances at this preliminary juncture don’t seem to corroborate

Hasidic Masses Head for the Country

This weekend marks that time of the year once more: country time. Thousands of hasidic families pack up all their goods and relocate from New York City to the Catskills country for about nine weeks starting with the first weekend of July and ending with the last weekend before labor day. By convention Thursday (June