Monday, September 15, 2008

Religion and State in Israel - September 15, 2008 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

September 15, 2008 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1) (continues in Section 3)

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

Time to ‘Retool’ Jewish Agency

By Stephen G. Donshik, Opinion September 10, 2008

Stephen Donshik, formerly director of the Israel Office of UJA-Federation of New York, has worked in Israel for 25 years in the area of Israel-Diaspora relations and international philanthropy. He now teaches and has a private consultation firm.

The Jewish Agency for Israel should be reengineered to be a “Foundation for the Jewish People” rather than a functional agency.

The emphasis would be on raising funds for the purpose of planning and providing the funding for programs to assist the Jewish people around the world. 

It would no longer be a provider of services.

'Only the Jewish Agency can connect the Jewish world'

By Haviv Rettig, September 10, 2008

The Jewish Agency may have "outsourced" the important function of bringing aliya from the world's largest Jewish community, but it remains for the foreseeable future the only body connecting the diverse communities of the Jewish world together, according to agency director-general Moshe Vigdor.

The Jewish Agency's smart decision on aliyah

By Alex Sinclair, Opinion September 15, 2008

Dr. Alex Sinclair, who made aliyah in 1998, is a lecturer in Jewish Education at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, as well as an adjunct assistant professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Aliyah is a fine and wonderful thing to encourage. I've even done it myself.

Nefesh B'Nefesh should go from strength to strength. But the Jewish Agency's job must be to advocate for and initiate 21st century Israel education and engagement.

It is possible to create commitment to Israel through complexity and conversation. Let us stop negating the Diaspora and start talking with it.

Sheetrit: Nefesh takeover of N. American aliya shows Jewish Agency's ineptitude

By Gil Hoffman, September 9, 2008

The Jewish Agency's agreement to allow Nefesh B'Nefesh to become the primary promoter of North American aliya to Israel shows that the Agency was "unable to handle" immigration from the US, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said Monday.

Nefesh B'Nefesh was doing a good job, so the Jewish Agency said 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em,'" Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post.

Amidror: Stop spreading Judaism through street stands

By Kobi Nahshoni, September 15, 2008

Jewish culture is thriving, tefillin stands are multiplying, but strengthening Judaism and the connection to our roots is mostly made possible in the academia, Major-General (Res.) Yaakov Amidror believes.

In a speech delivered last week he ruled that "those who think infiltrating Jewish values into the State's identity will be made through culture, or through street stands, is wrong. This influence will be sparse.

The main way to influence the character and identity of the State will be through the academia and research."

Ethiopian rabbi named head of Holocaust survivors' [synagogue]

By David Regev, September 14, 2008

The odd visitor to the Kedoshei Israel [synagogue] in the southern city of Kiryat Gat may be in for a little surprise:

The rabbi presiding over the temple's ceremonies – which are largely attended by Holocaust survivors – is of Ethiopian descent.

Community religious leader becomes ‘kosher’ coacher

By Yael Eichenwald, September 12, 2008

Finally you can deal with the problem and with yourselves in a series of meetings with the first “kosher” coacher – Rabbi Uriel Genzel.

The rabbi from the West Bank’s Revava settlement will train you to release yourselves from barriers and suffering while utilizing Jewish sources.

A conversation with Laizy Shapira, Srugim director

By ben, September 14 2008

Laizy Shapira, 32, spent his childhood in Philadelphia, where his father served as a shaliach of the Jewish Agency. 

After moving back to Karnei Shomron, he served in a Hesder program for yeshiva studies combined with IDF service. 

Shapira graduated from Jerusalem's Ma'ale School of Television, Film and the Arts, the only communications production program in the country targeted towards observant Jews, when he was in his late 20s.

…An association with producer Yonatan Aroch eventually landed Shapira a deal to co-create, co-write (with long-time collaborator Chava Divon) and direct Srugim (literally, "knitted"), a surprise hit for Yes TV.

The show, which focuses on the lives of five central 30-something religious Jerusalemite bachelor and bachelorettes in a manner that is refreshing and clever, has taken Israeli pop culture by storm.

Don't worry about the Bible, it can take care of itself

By Michael Handelzalts, Opinion September 10, 2008

A move is afoot to publish the Bible in contemporary Hebrew. In other words, to translate the Bible into Hebrew. To rewrite it, in the same language, using different words.

I am not concerned about the Bible and its language, nor am I worried by contemporary Hebrew. 

They have enough admirers…Hebrew knows how to take care of itself. The Bible is eternal, due to its own merits. The only thing they have to fear is teachers with good intentions.

War of the worlds

By Tamar Rotem, September 12, 2008

Emunah College of Torah and Art in Jerusalem

"His Jewish insights are those of an artist who comes from a secular background.

The girls, young graduates of ulpanot, come with a world that is worded differently. It's an explosive encounter between two languages or behavioral codes.

Especially in the matter of revealing that which is personal, traumatic, psychological, which is the ABC of contemporary art. The ultra-Orthodox world lives behind masks and walls.

Within the religious world, some exposure is possible, but only to a moderate degree.

It's possible that the exposure was too aggressive, by teachers for whom the world of the college is a feminine world that they don't understand." 

Bnei Akiva recasts old kibbutz program

By Raphael Ahren, September 12, 2008

For the first time in over 20 years, a North American Bnei Akiva delegation has arrived in Israel for a one-year "hachshara" (pioneering preparatory) program.

The 23 young men and women from all over the U.S. and Canada joined about 300 other participants in similar programs from around the globe last week for a kick-off event in the Old City of Jerusalem. 

NewPharm Stores Close on Sabbath

By Hillel Fendel, September 9, 2008

All 56 stores in Israel's 2nd-largest drugstore chain - NewPharm - will be closed on Sabbath by next month, its owner says.

Of the 56 NewPharm stores, 18 were open on Sabbath until early this year; seven of them were closed several months ago, and the remaining 11 will be closed by next month.

Shavit also owns a controlling interest in the giant HaMashbir LaTzarchan department store chain.  

In 2005, two years after he purchased it, Shavit closed its 30 stores on Sabbaths.

Tailoring an ancient law for today's world

By Yair Ettinger, September 10, 2008

This year, a new organization is combining the loan amnesty precept with charity.

The Israeli Fund for Loan Amnesty - Nedivei Eretz, established by the Torah & Land Institute and the Paamonim charitable association, has invited the public to observe the amnesty by depositing money with the fund as a loan that will be forgiven on the last day of the shmita year, which this year falls on September 29.

On that day, the loan will become a donation that will be given to needy families, religious and secular, to help them pay their debts. 

Israeli Stores That Sell Pork Products Bought Out By Orthodox Brothers September 10, 2008

The religious-owned "Almost for Free Warehouses" chain has bought up three non-Kosher "Tiv Taam" food stores, in order to put a stop to the sale of the non-Kosher meat and other products sold there.

Brothers Ronnie and Adi Tzim, owners of the Kim'at Chinam (Practically Free) chain, say they have no economic interest in buying the stores.  

They explain that their only goal is to rid the country of the sale of pig meat and other non-Kosher items Tiv Taam is noted for selling.  

Sources at the chain say the brothers continue seeking out other non-Kosher stores that they can acquire and make Kosher.

The newly-purchased stores are in Modiin, Nazareth Illit, and Haifa.  The changes at the Modiin store have already begun, with the Mashgichim of the Kashrus L'Mehadrin organization supervising the process.  T

he stores in Haifa and Nazareth Illit will undergo the same process in the coming weeks.

Shas' careless mistake

By Harel Peleg, September 10, 2008

The haredi population of Tiberias was surprised to see a Shas banner – endorsing local faction leader and Acting Mayor Eli Zigdon in the upcoming municipal elections - hanging over a non-kosher deli earlier this week.

Jerusalem Municipality to Boost Enforcement of Proper Treatment of Chickens during Kaporos

By Yechiel Sever September 11, 2008

Inquiries conducted in past years reveal that many of the suppliers of chickens for Kaporos do not adhere to the veterinary requirements for transporting and caging poultry birds destined for shechitoh and many are taken from one location to another, deliberately deceiving the public.

Parents angry over lack of kashrut on Poland trip

By Miriam Bulwar David-Hay, September 11, 2008

Parents of students at one Ra'anana high school are furious that the youngsters were unable to obtain kosher food during their recent week-long visit to Poland, 

A municipal spokesman said that out of the 127 students, five had requested kosher food in advance, and this had been prepared in Israel and supplied to them for the entire trip. 

Resting in peace?

By Aviva Lori, September 9, 2008

Two-level burial is one of the most efficient solutions to cemetery crowding to have been introduced in recent years.

It saves space, a valuable resource when it comes to cemeteries in Israel, and leaves plots available for future generations.

But this is only one side of the equation.

On the other side, there is money, lots of money. 

Gov't to continue Falash Mura aliya

By Ruth Eglash, September 15, 2008

Interior Ministry representatives will continue checking the eligibility for aliya of some 3,000 Ethiopian Falash Mura, who claim that under a 2003 government directive they should be allowed to immigrate to Israel, the government announced Sunday.

The government's most recent decision will see the arrival in Israel each month of 100 families, a fall from the previous quota of 300.

Ethiopian community fights for aliyah

By Yael Branovsky, September 14, 2008

The government's decision to approve the aliyah of a thousand more Falashmura from Ethiopia on Sunday did not do much to quell the protests on the part of the community's representatives in Israel.

Islamic Fundamentalism Threatens the Existence of Arab Christians in Jerusalem September 8, 2008

Click here for VIDEO

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical Islamic groups refuse to accept anyone else other than the Moslem population.

When they talk about waging a jihad against Israel they also refer to the Arab Christian population, this issue should be realized by the entire world. presents only a small example of a much greater problem, between Islamic fundamentalists and Jews and Christians.

Tourists may tread 'Pilgrim's Route,' visit W. Bank Christian sites by next year

By Irit Rosenblum, September 9, 2008

Some three million tourists are expected to visit Israel next year.

And when they arrive, they will discover a new "Pilgrim's Route" leading from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.

Along the way, they will be able to visit the site where the New Testament story of the Good Samaritan took place; the Qumran caves; and the site where, according to the New Testament, John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

Religion and State in Israel

September 15, 2008 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1) (continues in Section 3)

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.