Turns out, a Jewish woman was Miss Germany in 2011

Posted on December 4th, 2017
By Josefin Dolsten for JTA


Last week, the story of a Jewish woman competing in the Miss Germany competition went viral, appearing in JTA along with media outlets around the world. Tamar Morali, 21, said organizers told her she was the first Jewish woman to get this far in the beauty pageant.

It turns out the story — and the world of beauty pageants in general — isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

In 2011, a Jewish woman, Valeria Bystritskaia, was crowned Miss Germany. But out of fear of anti-Semitism Bystritskaia, a Russia native who moved to Germany at the age of 7, kept her Jewish heritage a secret.

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The Hollow Promise Of Jewish Identity

Posted on December 4th, 2017
BY ABIGAIL SHRIER for The Jewish Week


A couple of weeks ago, leaders of Conservative Judaism caused a stir by reaffirming a ban on interfaith marriage while reiterating the movement’s commitment to welcoming intermarried couples to its congregations. If this bit of legerdemain seems awkward, its stated goal will be familiar: strengthening Jewish identity.

“We believe — and the data confirm,” read a June statement from the Jewish Theological Seminary, “that by far the most effective path toward building a Jewish future is to strengthen Jewish identity, beginning with the Jewish family.”

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Yitzhak Rabin assassin Yigal Amir files request for retrial

Posted on November 27th, 2017
From JTA


Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, filed a request for a retrial.

The request was submitted to Israel’s Supreme Court Sunday after Amir met with his attorney, Gabi Shachar, in prison. During the meeting, Amir signed the documents necessary to request the retrial, the Hebrew-language Hadashot news reported.

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Orthodox Modesty Culture Under Fire As ‘Sex-Positive’ Spaces Emerge

Posted on November 20th, 2017
BY HANNAH DREYFUS for jewishweek.timesofisrael


Orthodox Vagina Monologues expands, days schools re-examining modesty education as Weinstein effect lingers.


Ayala Tiefenbrunn, a 21-year-old design student at FIT and an Orthodox young-married, took the mic in front of 75 people a few months ago. She took a deep breath and launched into a personal essay about her tortured relationship with birth control.

While acute communal and social pressure dictated that she and her husband start “trying,” her young age and professional aspirations kept her dutifully on the pill. But, she said, the choice isn’t easy. “Every time I don’t see a friend for a few months and she’s pregnant, it hurts a little — I so want to be there.”

Married at 19, Tiefenbrunn addressed an audience of young, predominantly Orthodox women; she wore a silver and blue head wrap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a layered top. Later, she confessed, “I constantly feel guilty because I’m on birth control.”

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What Unites And Divides Israeli Americans And Their Fellow Jews: A Conference Takes A Look

Posted on November 13th, 2017
BY RON KAMPEAS for The Jewish Week


Not long ago Yahel Epel, a volunteer with the Israeli American Council, fulfilled her assigned mission: She assembled 200 Jews, half of them Israeli American, in a room in Denver on a Friday evening for a potluck dinner and a Shishi Yisraeli program.

Shishi Yisraeli, a program launched by IAC that means “Israeli Friday evening,” seeks a happy medium between what those with and without Israeli roots or backgrounds would enjoy on a Friday night. The idea: Get them together. Create community.

How did it go?

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