Michele Chabin

Michele Chabin is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Michele Chabin

In the desert above the Dead Sea, evidence of Jewish rebels’ capture of Roman weaponry

By Michele Chabin — September 8, 2023
JERUSALEM (RNS) — The 1,900-year-old swords are in perfect condition, thanks to the arid climate of the Judean Desert.

Church leaders plead with Israeli government as anti-Christian incidents increase in Holy Land

By Michele Chabin — August 21, 2023
JERUSALEM (RNS) — The incidents have been organized by extremist groups who consider Christians to be enemies of the Jewish people.

Israelis fear new limits on Supreme Court will bolster Orthodox establishment’s sway

By Michele Chabin — July 27, 2023
(RNS) — Rights advocates in the country say legislation giving the Knesset more power to overturn Supreme Court decisions will have ‘a devastating impact’ on everything from gender equality, religious freedom and pluralism to the rights of Israel’s Arab minority. 

Appealing to Orthodox Jews, Israeli media remove women from view

By Michele Chabin — July 21, 2023
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Determined to return women’s images to the public sphere, a feminist Orthodox Israeli has created a unique photo bank of religious Jewish women and their families. It has become a resource for positive images of religious Jewish women.  

New memoir by Anne Frank’s girlhood friend reveals ‘life outside the attic’

By Michele Chabin — June 14, 2023
JERUSALEM (RNS) — 'My Friend Anne Frank,' by Hannah Pick-Goslar, details the girls' friendship before the Holocaust and their brief reunion inside a Nazi concentration camp.

Critics say Israeli judicial reform would end checks on Orthodox Jewish establishment

By Michele Chabin — February 16, 2023
(RNS) — Critics of proposed judicial reform fear that it would allow the so-called religious parties that make up a crucial swing vote in Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, to impose fervently religious norms on the country’s non-Orthodox majority. 

Birthright Israel brings Jews in recovery to Israel

By Michele Chabin — August 8, 2022
JERUSALEM (RNS) — 'Recovery is all about change and healing,' said one person in recovery who took a tour of Israel that allows Jews in recovery to explore their Jewish heritage and faith. 'I feel like a changed man because of this trip.'

Israel seen as a ‘safe haven’ for abusers like Baruch Lanner

By Michele Chabin — July 27, 2022
(RNS) — Opposition from activists and the general public led the Israeli government to deny citizenship to an abusive rabbi. But Israel remains vulnerable to abusers who want to move there, say activists.

Reacting to Dobbs, Israel makes abortion more accessible

By Michele Chabin — June 30, 2022
(RNS) — Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz explicitly linked the committee’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which will make it possible for several states to ban most abortions.   

An American rabbi went to help Ukrainian refugees. But he hoped to find his cousins.

By Michele Chabin — April 12, 2022
(RNS) — ‘I knew that finding them would be like finding a needle in a haystack,’ said Rabbi David Wilfond.

Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

By Michele Chabin — March 24, 2022
(RNS) — American Jewish groups say they were blindsided by the lightning-fast passage of a Senate bill.

Exceptions for ‘Jewish tourism’ rankle US Christians blocked from Israel at Christmas

By Yonat Shimron and Michele Chabin — December 21, 2021
(RNS) — Birthright Israel delegations and similar Jewish travel programs were exempted from a travel ban that has canceled Christian trips to Israel at Christmas.

In time for Hanukkah, archaeologists reveal battle-scarred stronghold against Maccabees

By Michele Chabin — November 24, 2021
(RNS) — ‘The stories of the Maccabees are coming to life before our eyes,’ said one member of the group that excavated the site.

Israeli police protect women’s prayer group from ultra-Orthodox protesters

By Michele Chabin — November 5, 2021
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Until now, Israeli security forces have done the bare minimum to enforce crowd control during the controversial prayer group’s once-a-month services in the women’s section of the Western Wall.

Ben & Jerry’s threatened ban in West Bank creates ripples beyond ice cream stores

By Michele Chabin — July 20, 2021
(RNS) — The company’s announcement that it would not renew its licensee in the occupied territories has brought accusations of antisemitism.
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