Intermarriage, Trans, Opioid Crisis, Sexual Misconduct, OU – The Most Read Stories Of 2017
Year In Review

Intermarriage, Trans, Opioid Crisis, Sexual Misconduct, OU – The Most Read Stories Of 2017

As web director it’s my job to keep a close eye on analytics, taking note of what stories are making the rounds, sparking conversation—and sometimes—controversy. Looking back over the last year, it was particularly interesting to see which stories left their mark. Though it’s not a wide-angle view of the issues facing the American Jewish community (for that, read this extensive roundup by our managing editor) it is arguably an accurate reflection of the landmark issues facing the New York Jewish community. Some of the most widely read and shared stories on our site were on the intermarriage debate, of which we watched both sides play out on our site, to the exposure of legacy Jewish organizations for alleged corruption and cover-ups. You showed interest in the tectonic shifts happening in the Orthodox and Modern Orthodox communities, and concern for the growing opioid crisis hitting our community. Perhaps most telling is that in year of massive political and communal polarization, the most read story was the heartfelt words of Elie Wiesel’s son on patience, forgiveness and love. In order from top to bottom, these were the 10 most popular stories on our site in 2017.
– Miriam Groner, Web Director
Father and son: Elisha and Eli Wiesel. Courtesy of Elisha Wiesel
As Opioid Crisis Grows In Orthodox Circles, Those Closest Speak Out
‘The religious community only started caring once we started dying.’
Chana Gibber at the grave of Faigy Grunwald, who died last September. Courtesy of Chana Gibber.
‘I Carry Shame And Regret’
Former USY Director Admits To Sexual Misconduct In The ’80s – Allegations Reported To Movement Years Ago
Robert D. Fisher admitted to “improper behavior” with at least three USY teenage boys in his charge in the late 1980s.
Living in Las Vegas since 1991, Robert Fisher served as a cantor and, for 22 years, as president of the Nevada Broadcasters Association. “I wish I could go back and apologize,” he said this week of his contact with teenage boys in decades past. Via

Were Adam And Eve Black Transgender Refugees?
Going Biblical – textual transgender analysis.

Time To Rethink Our Resistance To Intermarriage
If our traditional communities do not learn how to adapt to modernity and cater religiously to different people’s needs, Judaism risks nearing its extinction date.
A couple are married in the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue in Manhattan’s lower east side neighborhood November 9, 2003 in New York City. Getty Images

Orthodox Modesty Culture Under Fire As ‘Sex-Positive’ Spaces Emerge
Orthodox Vagina Monologues expands, days schools re-examining modesty education as Weinstein effect lingers.

Young charedi Orthodox girls in Crown Heights. Parents should “show our girls how to dress with finesse,” Bnos Menachem school director says. Serge Attal/Flash90
‘The issue is what type of orthodoxy are we talking about’
First-Ever Survey Of Modern Orthodox American Jews Reveals Fragmented Community
In Nishma Research survey of 4,000 Modern Orthodox Jews, 97% rank cost of Jewish schooling the community’s most serious challenge.
First of its kind study on Modern Orthodox finds diverse results. JTA
Switching Hats
From Black Hat To Trans Ally, And Paying A Price
The unlikely journey of an Orthodox rabbi who lost a pulpit and an outreach post but gained a cause.
Rabbi Moscowitz. Courtesy
Love Trumps Tribe
Maverick Rabbi Breaks Ranks Over Intermarriage
Amichai Lau-Lavie to leave Conservative rabbinic group; seeks new definition for non-Jewish partners.
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie: Paving way for intermarriage officiation. Christopher Duggan
The Battle For Reb Noach’s Legacy At Aish HaTorah
Is Aish International Intentionally Misleading High-Profile Donors?
Aish International is widely believed to be the U.S. arm of Aish HaTorah in Israel. But it isn’t.
The source of Aish: Rabbi Noach Weinberg, second from right, who founded the Aish HaTorah and oversaw its global growth. The current dispute is between some of his closest devotees. Courtesy of Aish HaTorah
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