New Kaddish App Instructs and Inspires Mourners

The Yizkor (remembrance) service on Yom Kippur and Shmini Atzeret, in which special prayers are said in memory of the departed, may be the most well-attended synagogue service on the Jewish calendar. And throughout the night and day of Yom Kippur, there will be resounding sounds of amen to mourners saying Kaddish for those who have passed. This year, those who are not regulars will be able to recite the Kaddish like a pro with the help of a new app.

Letter & Spirit: Conquering Nature with Shmitah

In this week’s edition of Letter & Spirit, we present a letter of the Rebbe in which he expounds on the very special and supernatural aspects of the mitzvah of shmitah. The letter was written through the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel, and was made available by his son-in-law Rabbi Sholom Ber Shapiro.

Lubavitcher Responds to Criticism of Kaporos

In an op-ed published in the New York Daily News, Crown Heights resident Eli Federman responds to the criticisms of ‘animal rights activists’ regarding the ancient Jewish tradition of Kaporos, laying out in clear and concise terms why they should leave the pre-Yom Kippur practice alone.

Ukrainian Businessman Pledges a Million in New York

Ukrainian businessman Alexander Granovsky keeps a low profile and makes his contributions to Jewish life in the country discretely. But during an inspirational visit last month, at the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, over the Sabbath prior to the High Holidays, he made a donation of 1 million dollars to the Chabad activities in hometown of Odessa, Ukraine.

Rabbi Osdoba: Badatz Hechsher Being Fraudulently Used

In a sharply-worded letter released this morning, Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba, senior member of the Crown Heights Beis Din, responds to flyers advertising a Kaporos that purports to be under the Hechsher of the Beis Din. “It is my duty to inform you all, that this is an absolutely fraudulent and misleading advertisement,” he writes.

Japanese Photographer Displays Gallery of Early 90s Crown Heights

Chie Nishio, an 84-year-old photographer originally from Japan, spent large parts of the early 90s taking photographs of Chasidic life in Crown Heights. Two decades later, beginning today at 6:00pm and lasting through Feb. 1, 2015, she will be displaying 40 of these photographs in an open-to-the-public gallery at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Animal Rights Activists Protest Kaporos

Last night, as hundreds of Jewish families gathered to perform the pre-Yom Kippur atonement ritual of Kaporos in Crown Heights, animal rights activists screamed “Murderers!” and waved signs of protest from behind a barricaded portion of Eastern Parkway.

Op-Ed: Kaporos Shouldn’t Break the Bank

The following op-ed was sent by an anonymous member of the Lubavitch community in Miami to, describing the hardship borne by a large family with copious Yomtov expenses when shelling out $23 for each Kapparos chicken, a phenomenon he describes as “price gouging.”