I was surprised at how enthralled I am with Shtisel, the Israeli series that hit Netflix in 2019 but is hardly new (the first season aired in Israel in 2013). The show explores the lives of the…ultra-Orthodox Shtisel family, who live in the Geula neighborhood in Jerusalem — generally, a place where I, as a secular Israeli human, would not really want to hang out. So why does the kugel, the watery soup, and the other Ashkenazi fare often eaten in the show suddenly look so mouthwateringly delicious? Why do the… >> Read More
Measles is stalking the American and Israeli Orthodox Jewish communities. As of this writing, 17 children have been diagnosed with measles in the largely Orthodox enclaves of Williamsburg and Borough…Park, Brooklyn. In two other communities with similar demographics — Lakewood, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York, several dozen children have come down with the measles. In Israel, more than 1,200 kids have been infected, and a child has died. In the U.S., most of the affected children are from ultra Orthodox communities. Their parents… >> Read More
Growing up, I was often viewed as “religious” among my peers. You might think this is compliment, but it rarely was, because that label was often accompanied by another one: “judgmental.”…Because I was more strict than others in some areas of observance, it was often assumed that I looked down on those who were less strict. To counter that image, I learned to be as subtle as possible when it came to my Jewish practice. (After all, if I hide the fact that I’m going… >> Read More
A 13-year-old girl from New York made Food Network history this week when she became the first Orthodox Jew to win Chopped.
On Tuesday night's episode of the reality cooking competition, Rachel…Goldzal took home the $10,000 prize. She's the first observant Jew to win — which, by extension, also makes the preteen the first Chopped winner to keep kosher. The rules of the competition for the four middle school chefs were simple: create an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert in three 30-minute rounds. The catch?… >> Read More
What do you do when you can never find the right clothes to wear to a wedding? Start your own modest fashion line, of course!
This is exactly what the two Persian Jewish women behind the LA-based…brand, RaJu, did. Now, Rachelle Yadegar and Judith Illulian have a pretty diverse clientele: “They’re Mormons, they’re Muslims, they’re lawyers, they’re professional, it’s not only the Jewish community.” Walking around the streets of LA, these glamorous ladies tell us how they made their “passion for fashion” into a career, and why looking your best is… >> Read More