Orthodox jewish dating rules

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In large, coastal cities like New York or Los Angeles, Jewish life is ambient and available; a slide toward ritual may well help young people fit in with a cultural community.But in a place filled with mega-churches and immigrants from all over the globe, Orthodox Judaism isn’t something young people slide into. The sprawling city of Houston has a large Jewish population sorted by highways and suburbs: Since it can take so long to drive from one side of the city to the other, geography often dictates what kind of Jewish life is accessible.

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These Jews exist in a diaspora that’s not just geographical, but cultural: Their religious commitments put them fundamentally at odds with the values and habits of their generational peers.

Many Orthodox Jews live in one of two pockets in the Meyerland neighborhood.

The more strictly observant synagogues are located to the southwest, where members often adhere to the codes of behavior and dress—wigs for women, black hats and visible shirt fringes for men—that one might find in a place like Borough Park in New York.

There aren’t a lot of grassroots, independent groups, especially not for prayer, said Elise Passy, who until recently was the coordinator of an organization called Big Tent Judaism.

This is part of “the conservative, with a small ‘c,’ nature of Houston,” she said; people tend to gravitate toward the institutions they’re used to. The group meets in various people’s houses on Friday nights for Kabbalat Shabbat, the songs and prayers that formally welcome in the Sabbath.

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