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Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

All Stories by Yonat Shimron

J. Dana Trent turns her drug-dealing childhood into a podcast about poverty and faith

By Yonat Shimron — September 24, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Breaking Good,’ a four-part podcast, tells a complex story of a dysfunctional churchgoing family living in a fading railroad town beset by poverty, addiction and mental illness.

Randall Balmer on why racism, not abortion, birthed the religious right

By Yonat Shimron — September 22, 2021
(RNS) — In his new book, he shows it was government interference in ‘segregation academies’ such as Bob Jones University that sparked the growth of the religious right. Opposition to abortion was an afterthought.

She spent three years in church sanctuary. A new documentary tells her story.

By Yonat Shimron — September 17, 2021
(RNS) — Espinal, who is married and has three adult children, had been living in the United States since she was 16.

A new Anne Frank Center aims to reshape racism through Holocaust education

By Yonat Shimron — September 15, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. (RNS) — The German-Dutch diarist is being memorialized in the heart of the South as part of an educational effort to stem not only hatred of Jews, but bigotry, discrimination and racism more broadly.

Blocked from serving their church, Catholic women push for female deacons

By Yonat Shimron — September 14, 2021
(RNS) — There is growing momentum to restore women to the diaconate, which would allow women to serve as Catholic chaplains in prisons, hospitals and other settings.

‘The story is still unfolding’: 10 Americans on how 9/11 changed their faith lives

By Yonat Shimron, Kathryn Post — September 10, 2021
(RNS) — The Sept. 11 attacks changed many Americans’ faith communities and spiritual lives as much as it did how we see our world and one another.

An American Jew turned Hindu holy woman tells her story

By Yonat Shimron — September 9, 2021
(RNS) — Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati quit her Ph.D. program, divorced her husband, moved to India and became a Hindu renunciate. In her new memoir she reveals a past life of sex abuse and bulimia.

‘Unvaccinated people die!’ declare Orthodox rabbis in new video ad

By Yonat Shimron — September 3, 2021
(RNS) — Jewish Americans overall are the most likely US religious group to have received a vaccine. But vaccine hesitancy is far higher among some Orthodox Jews.

This rabbinical school is moving into a Catholic university

By Yonat Shimron — September 2, 2021
(RNS) — ‘There was a practical need and a philosophical proximity,’ said Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, president of the Academy for Jewish Religion California, which will move to the campus of Loyola Marymount University next month.

Israel’s rabbinate asks Pope Francis to explain comments about Judaism

By Yonat Shimron — August 26, 2021
(RNS) — In a homily on Aug. 11, the pope said the Torah does not offer life, which only belief in Jesus can fulfill.

Amid a boom of plus-sized churches, one Catholic church wants to keep it small

By Yonat Shimron — August 26, 2021
CARY, N.C. (RNS) — The explosive growth of Catholicism in the Diocese of Raleigh has led to building massive churches. One church has been fighting to keep things small.

Franklin Graham calls for a day of prayer for people of Afghanistan

By Yonat Shimron — August 20, 2021
(RNS) — Graham has been sharply critical of President Biden’s pullout from Afghanistan, saying, "the blood of this nation' will be on his hands."

How Orthodox Jews became a streaming-TV hit

By Yonat Shimron — August 20, 2021
(RNS) — Streaming services have begun to take a chance on programs about Haredi Jews, but scholars say those narratives are nothing new.

Synagogues hoped to be in person this year. Now they’re not so sure.

By Yonat Shimron — August 18, 2021
(RNS) — A flood of new cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant is putting increased pressure on synagogue leaders to scale back High Holy Days services.

New book plumbs the role of the Herods in forming early Jewish, Christian views

By Yonat Shimron — August 17, 2021
(RNS) — In his book “The Herods: Murder, Politics, and the Art of Succession,” Bruce Chilton, a professor of religion at Bard College, places the dynastic family that ruled Judea and Israel for the Romans front and center.
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