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Here’s why some of America’s top cheese brands are now going kosher

Posted on July 17th, 2017

This story is sponsored by the Orthodox Union.

By Ben Hartman for JTA

It’s early morning in the Sardinian countryside and a farmer is milking his sheep while an Orthodox Jewish kosher supervisor looks on.

The supervisor, known as a mashgiach, is sleeping in the farmer’s barn, and he’ll be there all week.

Welcome to the world of kosher cheesemaking.

The weeklong kosher cheese run in Sardinia is just one of a number of methods that artisanal kosher cheesemaker Brent Delman, owner and founder of The Cheese Guy, uses to manufacture products for kosher consumers who have developed a taste for fine Italian cheeses.

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‘Orange is the New Black’ inspires Scottish prisoners to demand kosher food

Posted on July 10th, 2017
From JTA

Inmates at a Sottish prison are believed to have started asking for kosher food after watching “Orange is the New Black,” a Netflix television series set in a women’s prison.

In a 2015 episode of the series, a character known as “Black Cindy” converts to Judaism in order to receive “better quality food.”

Inspectors demanded an investigation into why the HM Prison in Edinburgh is serving kosher meals to more than 100 prisoners when hardly any of its inmates are Jewish, according to The Times of London.

It is thought that hundreds of prisoners across the United Kingdom have applied to change their religion to Judaism since the TV episode aired. The Edinburgh prison is believed to be the “worst hit” by such claims, the prison service report said.

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Beyond 120

Posted on July 3rd, 2017
By Ted Mann for Tablet Magazine 
Ideas from the father of modern stem cell biology, Irving Weissman, are starting to blossom into a future where we get old slower—and live longer

Plato tells a story, familiar to most of us, of how tools and abilities were distributed to all the animals, fangs and claws and stingers, yet all of these gifts were gone when mankind reached the head of the line. Prometheus stole fire from Hephaestus and technology from Athena, but that wasn’t enough for mankind to survive. Realizing this, Plato tells us in Gorgias, Prometheus gave us another, a much greater gift. We’ll get to that in a moment.

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Michael Steinhardt thinks American Jews need to stop focusing on religion

Posted on June 26th, 2017
By Ben Sales for JTA

Michael Steinhardt has poured millions of dollars into ventures for American Jews. But he’s no fan of American Judaism.

The hedge-fund billionaire turned mega-philanthropist is best known as the founder of Birthright Israel, the 10-day free trip to Israel for Jewish young adults. More recently, he’s founded a network of publicly funded Hebrew-language charter schools. His latest endeavor is a natural history museum at Tel Aviv University that will host exhibits on the flora and fauna of Israel and the Middle East.

JTA visited Steinhardt at his New York estate, where he spoke about why he thinks American Jewish education needs to change, what to do with the hundreds of thousands of Birthright alumni once they return home, and why he’s not worried about college students who rail against Israel.

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Tunisia Is Latest Arab Country To Ban ‘Wonder Woman’ Over Gal Gadot

Posted on June 19th, 2017
By JTA in The Forward

A Tunisian court has banned the showing of “Wonder Woman” because star actress Gal Gadot served in the Israel Defense Forces.

Tunisia joins Lebanon, which banned the screening of the film as part of its ban on all Israeli products. Jordan also is considering a ban on the film due to Gadot’s Israeli military service, and has temporarily banned screening until its culture review committee makes a final decision.

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