BROOKLYN—For the first time in recent history, the borough of Brooklyn, New York, has surpassed Jerusalem, Israel, as “The Holiest Jewish City on Earth,” according to the World Jewish Federation.
Federation officials, who annually rank cities around the world for their degree of Jewish religious observance, explained that in the past year, Brooklyn initiated several practices that make it “indisputably the holiest land on the planet.”
As an example, in the district of Boro Park, several synagogues now offer women’s prayer groups for men only. In addition, stores that sell television satellite dishes now require customers to buy two sets of dishes, plus two other sets for use during Passover.
In Flatbush, public unisex bathrooms now have separate entrances for men and women.
Another indication of high religious observance is in Williamsburg toy stores, which sell dolls designed to inculcate in young Jewish girls the importance of covering their hair after marriage. The dolls, called Tichel Me Elmo, come with a kerchief wrapped around a Muppet’s head.
Another big-selling doll in Williamsburg–this one for young Jewish boys–is the Kollel Doll. You wind it up and it doesn’t work.