Iceland Welcomes its First Rabbi in Decades & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Thirsty for Wisdom of the Body, Finding It in Dance
Rabbi Hanania Schwartz and Yuval Azoulay covered their heads with yarmulkes and mumbled a blessing before sipping from their water bottles. Then, yarmulkes off, they began to perform a short dance. The excerpt is from “Heroes,” which was performed at the JCC Manhattan when the Ka’et Ensemble, a contemporary dance company of religious Jewish men from Israel, made its American debut.

Poland Set to Criminalize Kosher Slaughter
Just one week after passing a controversial law outlawing statements indicating Polish responsibility for crimes against Jews during the Holocaust, Poland’s ruling party has sponsored a new bill including a clause that would criminalize kosher meat slaughter. If the law is passed, anyone found guilty of slaughtering animals in accordance with traditional Jewish practice would face a prison sentence of up to four years.

Iceland is Getting its First Resident Rabbi in Decades
The Chabad movement is sending a rabbi and his wife to Iceland, an island nation with 250 Jews where ritual slaughter of animals is illegal and circumcision is likely to be outlawed as well. Rabbi Avi Feldman, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, and his Sweden-born wife Mushky, are slated to settle with their two daughters in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital city, later this year. The country is not known to have had a resident rabbi servicing an active Jewish community there since 1918, the year it gained independence from what was then the Kingdom of Denmark.

This Kosher Bordeaux Was Worth The Wait
Tel Aviv’s Kosher Food and Wine Experience (KFWE) took place last week in a light and airy event space called Trask, overlooking the Mediterranean in the Port of Tel Aviv. As afternoon sun poured into the hall, Royal CEO Nathan Herzog introduced winemakers and winery representatives here to showcase their latest kosher releases. The Chateau Malartic Lagraviere 2014, for instance, is the first vintage on the market since 2005. Making a kosher Bordeaux is hard work.

This Jewish Couple Overcame Infertility. Do Their Twins Have To Convert?
The Jewish parents of infant twin boys had a conversion for their babies, committing to raising the children as observant Jews before briefly submerging them in a mikveh, or ritual bath. Both of the legal parents have Jewish parents and were raised in the faith, but their children were conceived using an egg from another woman and a surrogate, neither Jewish.

NYC Finally Has Kosher Ramen
Dan Zelkowitz’s New York dream began, as so many do, with a tipsy night on the Lower East Side. “My wife and I [saw] these huge, long lines outside of all the underground ramen places. She said, ‘Man, I really wish I could have that.’ ” One year later, he’s opened Boru Boru, an Upper West Side restaurant that’s the city’s first Orthodox-friendly ramen joint. He hopes it will shake up New York’s Jewish restaurant scene.

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