Shulem Deen


Who Says Hasidim Have 'Dead Eyes'?

By Shulem Deen

Hasidim walk through Williamsburg / All photos courtesy of Mo Gelber Read More


The Secret Genius of Hasidic Fashion

By Shulem Deen

The Secret Genius of Hasidic Fashion
“The genius of the Satmar rebbe,” Williamsburg-based artist Michael Levin says of the late Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, the post-Holocaust leader of Williamsburg’s Satmar Hasidic community, “was to say that if you wear a shtreimel and long peyes, everyone will be freaked out and hate you and stay away from you. But in the end, they’ll also respect you.”Read More


Williamsburg Bike Wars Provide Family Drama

By Shulem Deen

Williamsburg Bike Wars Provide Family Drama
The other day, just as I was coming up from the subway at Manhattan’s Herald Square, a Hasidic man in full attire — long coat and broad-brimmed hat, in 95 degree heat — rode right past me on a blue CitiBike. I kicked myself for not having a camera at the ready; it was a perfect example of a Hasid doing his thing without concern for the petty politics of his leaders. It was only later that I realized the timeliness of it: I was on my way to see the play “Division Avenue,” which is set against the backdrop of Hasidim vs. bicyclists in Williamsburg, and the political circus that has sprung up in recent years over the issue.Read More


Did Rabbi's Forged Letter Boost Anti-Draft Rally?

By Shulem Deen

Did Rabbi's Forged Letter Boost Anti-Draft Rally?
Was the weekend rally in New York against Israel’s plans to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews boosted by a prominent rabbi’s forged endorsement?Read More


Hasidic Women Feel Pressure for Children, But Fathers Fret About Providing

By Shulem Deen

Hasidic Women Feel Pressure for Children, But Fathers Fret About Providing
It’s not just Hasidic women who feel trapped into having many children. Shulem Deen recalls being forced by Halacha — and his wife — to have more than he had any hope of providing for.Read More






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  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
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