NY Times Explores The Virtues of Modesty & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

NY Times Explores The Virtues of Modesty & Other Orthodox Jews in the News


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London Council Builds Housing With Religion-Friendly Features
A London council is to build housing with religiously-compliant features designed to appeal to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, in what is thought to be a first for a local authority. Hackney council’s development, Tower Court in Stamford Hill, north-east London, will include lifts which do not require manual operation on Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath; open balconies to accommodate temporary enclosures during the religious holiday of Sukkot, and separate kitchens which can be easily adapted to kosher requirements.

Modest Dressing, as a Virtue
Historically, conservative dressing is most frequently associated with religious adherence, which makes the most recent, trendier iteration of the phenomenon especially surprising — considering the kind of woman who is newly sheathing herself in long, baggy silhouettes is often the type of liberal nonbeliever who’d be the first to eschew any traditional strictures on her choices, sartorial or otherwise. Orthodox Jews follow the laws of tzniut (literally “modesty” in Hebrew), according to which the body of a woman — and her hair, too, if she’s married — should be substantively covered.

At New York Awards Show, Orthodox Jewish Teen Star of Hit TV Series Thanks ‘Hashem,’ Says Religion Is the ‘Core of My Identity’
Jewish teen actor David Mazouz, who plays a young Bruce Wayne in the Fox series “Gotham,” was honored on Sunday night for his accomplishments as an Orthodox Jew. The 16-year-old received the award among other honorees at the 5th Annual Jew In the City All Stars Awards Show in New York, which celebrated the success of observant Jews.

Orthodox Jewish All Stars Honors Extraordinary Achievers on a ‘Modest Red Carpet’
Jew in the City’s Fifth Annual Orthodox Jewish All Stars Premiere Party took place Sunday night just beside Times Square, honoring an “accomplished and diverse group of individuals who have achieved great success in their relevant fields while maintaining a Torah-observant lifestyle.” With a crowd of nearly 500 guests it was the largest All-Star party yet organized by Allison Josephs, the founder and director of Jew in the City.

Five Towns Residents Honored As ‘Jew In The City’ All-Stars
Two Five Towns residents were among those honored on Sunday night in New York City for their accomplishments as Orthodox Jews. Frayda Ginsburg, former director of legal services for the Americas at the luxury house Burberry Group PLC, and David Adler, author of the bestselling “Cam Jansen” children’s book series, received their awards at the 5th Annual Jew in the City All-Stars Awards. Both were celebrated for being successful in their careers while keeping their Jewish values.

Local Chef Wins Kosher Chopped All Stars!
For the first time, the event featured a Kosher Chopped All Stars competition presented by Kosher.com and hosted by Naomi Nachman (Aussie Gourmet)The dishes were judged by Chanie Apfelbaum (Busy in Brooklyn), Daniella Silver (The Silver Platter Cookbook series), Eitan Bernath (Teen Chopped/ Food Network),and audience vote on Facebook via Esty Wolbe (I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes.) The field of contestants who sent in videos was Chopped to 3 to compete live. In the end, Baltimore’s Shira Guttman was crowned Kosher Chopped Champion!

Jews in Spain Unveil Europe’s First Torah Scroll Written by Women
Orthodoxy is much stricter about enforcing a gendered division of labor. In a defense of these norms, prominent Jewish blogger Allison Josephs wrote that some Jewish women choose not to interact with the Torah out of respect for tradition. “It comes down to three concerns: modesty, women not being obligated in time-bound commandments, and the fact that it was not historically the practice for women to read from the Torah.”

Why 30,000 Orthodox Women Belong to This Recipe-Sharing Facebook Group 
Born in 2007, it’s the brainchild of two Brooklyn sisters — Goldie Adler Nathan, 35, and Esty Adler Wolbe, 30 — who created a forum to allow kosher cooks from across the globe to trade recipes, swapping information about everything from chicken soup and cholent to Italian desserts and kung pao tofu. I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes, however, quickly became more than just a recipe swap site. It has evolved into a full-fledged community of mostly Orthodox women who discuss everything from health issues to the division of labor in families. Today, its 30,000 members swap tips on marriage, child rearing, holidays and, of course, cooking.

Traditional Meets Modern in Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Art
A new ultra-Orthodox art gallery will shortly open in the Geula neighborhood, the heart of ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem, demonstrating the change in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox sector’s outlook on art. Until a few decades ago, there was hardly any connection between art and the ultra-Orthodox. While there was ultra-Orthodox art, it was not a means to express a personal perspective or tell a story and certainly not a medium for protest and criticism.

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Sara Levine

A former Hollywood script editor, Jerusalem event planner, non-profit fundraiser and professional blogger, Sara Levine is an accomplished writer and editor. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, her first screenplay was well-received by story executives at major studios. As a journalist, her articles have been published internationally in popular magazines and websites. With over 18 years experience as a story consultant, her notes and critiques on novels and scripts have been used to select and improve material by top studios, networks, agencies and writers in Hollywood and beyond. She is currently at work on her first novel.