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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, founder of Shas and Sephardi sage, dies at 93
▪ Avi Woolf, frequent commenter, writes about his experience as R. Ovadiah’s neighbor: Rav Ovadia ztz”l: A Child’s Memory
N.J. Gov. Christie advocates for school choice at OU event
Women of Wall agrees to pray in egalitarian space, with conditions
▪ Dr. Marvin Schick raises serious questions about the Pew survey: Serious Questions About the Pew Report on American Jew
▪ Dr. Alan Brill has more to say on the Pew survey: Reflections on the Pew Survey
▪ A report on the growth of women’s hakafos with sifrei Torah: A Tale of Two Simhat Torahs
▪ The return of conversos: When in Rome, do as Jews do
▪ Interesting to see how other religions struggle with the same issues we have: A New Role for Women in Southern Baptist Agency

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. Regarding Dr. Shick’s article, there may have been challenges in the Pew survey (as an actuary I know a bit about statistics and surveys) but not much more than face anyone surveying in today’s day and age.
    The orthodox community has to my knowledge not been one that seeks actual objective data on its population but rather uses anecdotal information. I hope that the belief in daat torah (vs. data torah?) is well founded for making decisions based on anecdotal data, because bderech hateva (in the natural world) studies have shown that leadership’s beliefs concerning their subordinates is often well off target.

    • If Dr. Brill is correct that the margin of error for Orthodox responses is +/- 12.4%, then the results of the survey have to be taken with a grain of salt.

      • Certainly true, but I’ve noticed some commenters who use the salt only for results they don’t like while taking the ones they do at face value. Given the lack of any orthodox polling, one assumes that there is insufficient interest in statistically significant results within the community to make it a priority.

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