Author: Mordechai Kuber

Unbroken Faith: American Jewish Families Who Defied the Odds

Many assume Torah Judaism came to these shores in the aftermath of the Holocaust. This is not only historically false, but it overlooks the extraordinary mesirut nefesh and devotion to Torah exhibited by hundreds of men and women who stubbornly and courageously fought to lay the foundation of Torah...

The Hartman Family, New York

When I was growing up, small farms still existed in Boro Park. I remember there were goats and chickens. It was a time when the majority of Jewish immigrants assimilated. Observant Judaism was perceived as being old fashioned, a relic from the Old Country.

The Fertig Family, New Brunswick, New Jersey

It’s a fallacy to say that Orthodox Judaism in America existed only from the 1940s onward. My grandchildren mark six generations since the arrival of the Fertig family in the US.

The Bruder Family, New York

Many of the books on the history of American Orthodoxy include the names Bruder, Weberman, Fensterheim and Jacobs. These families helped build the spiritual foundation that enabled American Orthodoxy to flourish decades later.

The Cohn Family, Baltimore, Maryland

My great-grandfather, Henry P. (Tzvi Pinchas) Cohn, was a Kohen. He left Germany because they had strict laws against Jews there, one of which imposed limitations on how many Jews in a family could get married. (This is why one of Yekke minhagim is that talleisim are worn by...

The New Entrepreneur

Why the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and booming in the Orthodox community The recession of 2008 may have left thousands of Orthodox Jews out of work, but apparently not out of hope. Rather than settle for jobs far below their skill sets and financial needs, a growing...

Doing Time with the Rabbi: A Day in the Life of a Prison Chaplain

The sky hung low as I drove upstate to the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch, New York, this past May. I had never been to a prison before. Yet, here I was, traveling to the edge of the Catskills to visit a maximum-security prison. I came to observe Rabbi...

Deaf-blind Get “In Touch” with Halachah

Our Way’s “Illuminating” New Sefer   We all, to some degree, communicate through touch. For the Jewish deaf-blind, it’s the only way. They literally “speak” and “listen” into each other’s hands. This raises serious halachic questions. What if the signers are opposite genders; are they obligated to keep the...

The Changing American Rabbinate

Today’s rabbi needs to be a CFO, fundraiser, program director and mental health professional rolled into one A strong cup of coffee in hand, he stares at the computer screen, putting the final touches on his Shabbat derashah. He then reviews the latest building campaign spreadsheet, adds the name...

Up Close with Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich

Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich’s tenacious struggle to keep Torah in Communist Russia is documented in his book Unbroken Spirit: A Heroic Story of Faith, Courage and Survival (Jerusalem, 2012). But in a recent interview with OU