The Surfing Orthodox Jewish Rabbi & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Atlanta Religious Community Hosting Thousands of Hurricane Irma Evacuees 
A local Jewish community in Toco Hills is opening their homes to Orthodox Jews who are fleeing South Florida to seek refuge for the Sabbath until they are able to return to their homes. The group consists of five local Toco Hills residents who are organizing efforts to find home hospitality for them and arrange all their Sabbath meals.

An Old-School Alternative to Tinder is Making a Big Comeback — Step Inside the World of Modern Matchmaking
Many countries and cultures boast their own unique methods of fixing people up. Perhaps one of the most well-known of these is the shidduch system still used today within many Orthodox Jewish communities. In the shidduch (Yiddish for “match”) system, matchmakers called shadchanim maintain databases of single men and women and facilitate dates between them for the purpose of marriage.

Key West Rabbi Offers Chabad As Hurricane Irma Storm Shelter
Rabbi Yaakov Zucker, the Chabad rabbi in the Florida resort of Key West, is offering his building as a potential shelter for local residents who might face a direct hit from the ferocious Hurricane Irma. Zucker, who has been working to prepare the building, told the Algemeiner that the Chabad house was a “hurricane 5 stage shelter, if you will.” He added that it was constructed to be flood-proof and was “one of the strongest buildings in town.”

Orthodox Volunteers Shake Off Prohibition To Help Harvey-Stricken Churches 
Volunteers with ZAKA, a search and rescue operation run by Israeli Orthodox Jews, are helping repair Houston churches damaged by intense flooding during Hurricane Harvey, reported Breaking Israel News. The decision to help the churches breaks with a custom against entering Christian houses of worship that many Orthodox Jews adhere to. ZAKA chairman Yehuda Zahav told BIN that there was a “religious imperative to help, since every man was created in God’s image.”

The Surfing Orthodox Rabbi Who Inspires Kids To Get Fit
As a young boy growing up near the ocean in Los Angeles, Rabbi Nachum Shifren would often take a surfboard under his arm and hit the waves. It wasn’t until he was 30, while living in Santa Barbara, that he became inspired by the local Chabad to become an Orthodox Jew. At this new stage in life, he was eager to draw people closer to Yiddishkeit, but at the same time he didn’t want to give up his love of surfing and of nature.

NY City Council Honors First Female Hasidic Judge
The Honorable Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, Esquire, was elected Judge of the Brooklyn Civil Court, District 5 in November of 2016, making Judge Freier the first Hasidic woman in US history to be elected to public office. In recognition of her accomplishments, the New York City Council issued a proclamation in her honor.

Why Choosing A Torah Life Was the Hardest Thing I Ever Did
In a way, it’s a classic baal teshuvah moment — seeking acceptance, no matter how long it’s been. Judy Gruen’s memoir, “The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love With Faith,” has just been released by She Writes Press.

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