Yeshiva Bochurs Are the New Entourage & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Young Ultra-Orthodox in Israel Increasingly Prioritizing Career, Education Over Marriage, Family
According to figures obtained by Haaretz from the upcoming statistical report on ultra-Orthodox society for 2017 (published jointly by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies), the Haredi community has undergone a dramatic shift in marriage patterns over the last decade. While in 2003 and 2004 around 61 percent of Haredim from 20 to 25 were married, in 2015 and 2016 that number fell to 44 percent.

Israeli TV’s Love Affair With Haredim
A new HOT comedy that premiered Sunday night is just the latest TV show to spotlight the ultra-Orthodox community. The show, called Shababnikim, features a group of four Haredi students who study at a yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Why Food Makers in Portugal Are Going Kosher
Portugal’s tallest mountain range, the Serra da Estrela, is famous for its breathtaking waterfalls, turquoise lakes, terraced hillsides and challenging bike paths amid vast woods. Tourists from all over northern Europe flock to the sunny Serra for its exquisite wines, world-renowned sheep cheeses and exotic regional dishes (think breaded sweet sardines and Juniper beef stew). Serra da Estrela in recent years has also emerged as Portugal’s undisputed powerhouse for kosher food – an unlikely development in a region with about 50 Jews.

For Irish Catholic-Turned-Ultra-Orthodox Comic, the Journey is the Joke
One year ago, comedian Yisrael Campbell sat shiva for his Catholic mother, in a house with a Christmas tree. It was probably one of the more difficult episodes in the many years since Campbell chose to convert to Judaism (which he famously did three times, through Reform, Conservative and Orthodox conversions), but it had the unexpected benefit of offering some brand new material for his show which he’ll perform at Jerusalem’s Khan Theater this week.

Are The Fried Locusts In My Taco Kosher?
I’m in my Jerusalem apartment and my girlfriend is having a conniption over the pile of disembodied grasshopper legs I’ve left on the chopping board in the kitchen. Bizarrely — these critters are kosher. One Israeli start-up is joining the growing ranks of companies seeking to develop viable ways to raise edible insects for an increasingly ravenous world.

Washington’s Huge New Bible Museum Talks a Lot About Jews. So Why Are Some Jews So Skeptical?
Funded and founded by evangelicals, the new Museum of the Bible sticks out for something its leaders clearly wanted to emphasize: Jews. The eight-story, cutting-edge $500 million institution, which opened last month and is already one of the world’s largest Bible museums, devotes more space to stories of the Hebrew Bible than to the New Testament, highlights a special permanent exhibit on Israeli antiquities, sells Jewish items in its gift shop like menorahs and mezzuzahs, and pipes the sound of people praying in Hebrew through its speakers. A real, live yarmulke-wearing rabbi from Israel is seated at the end of the final major exhibit, writing the letters of a Torah scroll, deliberately there to emphasize museum leaders’ perspective that “God started with the Jewish people, and he is still with the Jewish people,” said Cary Summers, the museum’s president.

Yehoshua Hershkowitz, 92, Founder of a Kosher Meal Program, Dies
Yehoshua Zvi Hershkowitz, who more than 40 years ago was so concerned that his indigent neighbors would go hungry for the Sabbath that he founded a kosher meals-on-wheels program, which has been imitated by Jewish communities around the world has died. He was 92 years old.

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