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Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Lawmaker Compares Reform Jews To Mentally Ill

MK Israel Eichler (United Torah Judaism) launched a diatribe against the Reform Movement and the High Court of Justice over the court’s decision that people who did not convert through the state-sanctioned, Orthodox system must not be denied the right to immerse in public ritual baths.  Read more

Haredi Couple From Israel Caught With Drugs In Ukraine

Ukrainian police arrested an ultra-Orthodox couple from Israel at Kiev’s Boryspil Airport after finding more than two pounds of marijuana in their luggage. Read more

Rabbis Want Cell Phone Stores Supervised

The Rabbinical Committee for Communication Affairs is demanding that the prominent ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit organization employ inspectors to patrol authorized cell phone stores in haredi neighborhoods and ensure that the devices sold in those stores are indeed “strictly kosher” – with no camera or Internet access. Read more

Cheap Chain Sparks Coffee Ears In Bnei Brak

The ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak is abuzz after the Cofix coffee chain, which offers all its products for NIS 5 (about $1.30), opened its fourth branch on Rabbi Akiva Street, sparking an intense business battle between the chain and owners of the veteran stores on the busy street. Read more

Ex-Haredi Transgender Woman Prostitute Inmate Says Held In Isolation Because of Gender Identity

A 24-year-old female transgender inmate at the Neveh Tirtzah women’s prison filed a petition with the Lod District Court on Thursday challenging her placement in isolation wing, claiming that it is only as a result of her transgender identity. Read more

Judge Orders Cremation of Transgender Woman Who Committed Suicide

The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday rejected a petition by the family of May Peleg, a transgender woman who committed suicide last weekend, that she be buried rather than cremated.

The court ordered that Peleg’s body be cremated, as she requested in her will. Read more

Haredi Family of Transgender Woman Tries To Stop Her Cremation After Suicide

The ultra-Orthodox family of a transgender woman who committed suicide over the weekend is trying to stop the cremation of her body, despite the woman’s wish to be cremated, as expressed in her will. Jerusalem District Court will hand down its ruling in the matter Wednesday. Read more

Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Gets Into Shas Political, Commercial Feud

Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, expressed opposition over the weekend to the broadcast of his sermons on the ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Ba’rama, thus deepening his personal involvement in a political and commercial dispute between Shas leader Arye Deri and his predecessor and rival Eli Yishai. Read more

El Al Shuts Movie Mid-flight So As ‘Not to Annoy’ Ultra-Orthodox Passengers

El Al has promised to look into an incident on a recent flight in which the in-flight movie was stopped after about 20 minutes and the screens folded back in deference to the feelings of the ultra-Orthodox passengers on board. Read more

18-Year-old Fashion Designer Takes Haredi Sector By Storm

She just completed her studies at an ultra-Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem, and celebrated her 18th birthday only a month ago, but Bracha Benhaim is already one of the hottest fashion designers in Israel’s haredi sector. Read more