OU Staff

The Jewish Origins of Kentucky Bourbon

May 13, 2015, by

There’s a fine art to creating a liquor brand. It involves convincing people to buy booze with stories crafted around popular notions of heritage and legacy. Today’s drinkers are familiar with the classic formulas: Rum is named for pirates or tropical islands (think Mount Gay or Captain Morgan); scotch brands enshrine beautiful but unpronounceable places

New Jersey Jewish Family’s Struggle For Mobility Goes Viral

May 12, 2015, by

The Herzfeld family hasn’t gone anywhere together for a year and a half. These days, it’s just too much of a challenge to get all of their children in and out of the car and around in public. Over the past 10 years, all four of Esther and Arthur Herzfeld’s children have been diagnosed with

In Detroit, Jewish Cemetery Survives Within GM Auto Plant

May 12, 2015, by

Beth Olem Cemetery is like many aging, final resting places, with assorted tombstones in varying condition, sizes and styles, encircled by a brick wall and iron gate. Yet surrounding it on all sides is an unusual neighbor: a massive automotive plant. The serene, green oasis is enveloped by the steel and concrete structures and grounds

People Have Misconceptions About Miscarriage, And That Can Hurt

May 11, 2015, by

Most people think a miscarriage is rare, and many believe that if a woman loses a pregnancy that she brought it upon herself. Neither of those things is true, but the enduring beliefs cause great pain to women and their partners. In fact, almost half of people who have experienced a miscarriage or whose partner

After Successful Mission, IDF Field Hospital Closes in Nepal

May 11, 2015, by

A joint ceremony with their Nepali counterparts, the Israeli army officially closed its field hospital in Kathmandu on Sunday. As of the weekend, IDF medical personnel had treated 1,427 victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the mountainous Asian nation last month, including 90 life-saving surgeries, six cesarean sections and two natural births. “Let me

Five Facts about Lag Ba’Omer by the “Zoo Rabbi”

May 7, 2015, by

Rabbi Natan Slifkin, the Zoo Rabbi and blogger behind Rational Judaism, has a new book from OU Press available for pre-order, “The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom- Volume One: Chayot/Wild Animals.” It’s great. You should buy it and read it. For a taste of Rabbi Slifkin’s style, read his five-facts about Lag Ba’omer that he

An Anti-Semitic Politician in Hungary Discovers His Jewish Heritage

May 7, 2015, by

Far-right Hungarian politician Csanad Szegedi was a rising star in the Jobbik party. As a senior member in a political party mainly known for its anti-Semitism and racism, Szegedi also had the dubious honor of launching a paramilitary organization called the Hungarian Guard. And then, quite suddenly, his career came a screeching halt. He found

Netanyahu, Bayit Yehudi Strike Coalition Deal Just Before Deadline

May 6, 2015, by

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud faction on Wednesday reached an agreement with the religious Zionist Bayit Yehudi on the formation of a rightist coalition, Israel Radio reported. The agreement, which was struck just two hours before the final deadline for Netanyahu to cobble together a ruling government, paves the way for a narrow, 61-seat

After 20 Years in Israel, Ethiopian Jewish Community Still Struggles

May 6, 2015, by

When the Ethiopian Jewish community arrived in Israel in 1991, the New York Times reported it was  “it was difficult to tell who was more joyful.” “The barefoot Ethiopians who cheered, ululated and bent down to kiss the tarmac as they stepped off the planes, or the Israelis who watched them aglow, marveling at this

Between the Holy and the Unholy, Between Civil Disobedience and Criminal Activity

May 5, 2015, by

Rabbi Etan Mintz is the spiritual leader of B’nai Israel Congregation, Baltimore’s oldest continually active synagogue and one of the original founding synagogues of the Orthodox Union. B’nai Israel Congregation is also located only five blocks away from City Hall in downtown Baltimore. In the week following the riots that gripped Baltimore, Rabbi Mintz sent