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OU Staff

Pew: Religious People are Happier

February 8, 2019, by

People who are actively engaged in religious life tend to be happier than either those who are religiously unaffiliated or inactive according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data from the United States and more than two dozen other countries. Religiously active people also tend to smoke and drink less though they […]

Patriots Wide Receiver is First Jewish Super Bowl MVP

February 6, 2019, by

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was named Most Valuable Player following his team’s victory against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. After the game, when asked how he felt about the honor, Edelman replied, “It sounds crazy, it sounds crazy. 2018. L’Chaim!” Edelman provided some of the few offensive highlights in […]

Shabbat at the Wawa

January 30, 2019, by

Wawa, the oddly-named convenience store chain, is a ubiquitous staple in six states and the District of Columbia. Performance artist Brian Feldman had the idea to combine this venerable institution with his religious convictions, resulting in “Wawa Shabbawa,” AKA “a Shabbat of convenience.” It’s an actual communal Shabbat dinner held in a Wawa seating area. After inaugural dinners […]

Anti-Semitic Video Uses Niemoller Quote Against Jews

January 30, 2019, by

Pastor Martin Niemoller famously wrote: First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I […]

“Lost” Yiddish Songs Nominated for Grammy

January 30, 2019, by

In 1944, Veli Shargorodskii, a 42-year-old Jewish man from Odessa, wrote the song On the High Mountain, about the Soviets’ battles against the Nazis. The song ends with the words “Germany is in trouble, Hitler is kaput!” This song and hundreds of others were collected during the war by Moisei Beregovsky, a Russian-Jewish scholar of both music […]

Inside the South Korean Talmud Craze

January 22, 2019, by

In South Korea, academic pressures are intense. 83% of 5-year-olds receive private education and at age 18, students take an eight-hour university entrance exam. With so much emphasis on academic excellence, many are turning to chavruta study, the yeshiva methodology in which pairs of students debate and ask each other questions based on the text. […]

Florida to Sanction AirBNB for Delisting Jewish Settlements

January 22, 2019, by

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that his state will take action against Airbnb for its decision to remove listings of rentals in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Airbnb said in November that it would remove the listings of 200 such apartments and homes but not those in Palestinian communities. DeSantis says that the state […]

Gymnast Aly Raisman Represents Jews When She Performs

January 22, 2019, by

Gymnast Alexandra (Aly) Raisman says that a letter from a Holocaust survivor has helped her realize that when she performs, she represents not only her country but Jews as well. “I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on the Jewish community,” Raisman said of her 2012 gold medal-winning routine that […]

Stunning an Animal Before Slaughter Not More Humane, Religious Leaders Say

January 14, 2019, by

Belgium’s recent ban on the traditional Jewish and Muslim method of slaughtering animals has been applauded by animal rights activists and condemned by religious leaders who see the ban as a threat to their communities. The issue under fire is whether to allow religious exemptions to European Union rules that state animals must be rendered unconscious before […]

Saudi Women Demanding Reforms

January 14, 2019, by

Women across Saudi Arabia have become inspired by a teenager who fled the country, seeking asylum in Australia out of fear that she would be killed by her family. The women are demanding reforms, including an end to the country’s guardianship system, or they say that they will also will leave the country. The threat […]