Monday, April 26, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - April 26, 2010 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

April 26, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Court rejects Jerusalem bid to up funding for Haredi schools

By Nir Hasson April 23, 2010

The Jerusalem District Court yesterday invalidated the Jerusalem municipality's decision to increase funding for Haredi schools.

Judge Noam Sohlberg ruled that the city council's decision of seven months ago "is not egalitarian and is contrary to administrative law and proper conduct."

IRAC activists hope the court ruling will prompt other local authorities to cancel decisions to increase funding for Haredi schools as well.

"The verdict is instructive, and a first," said attorney Einat Hurvitz, who filed the petition with attorney Tali Aviv.

"It is reasoned and takes all the aspects into consideration. The legal advisor's decision to support us will make it difficult for other authorities to set discriminatory criteria that favor ultra-Orthodox schools."

Court: Jerusalem Municipality favors haredi schools

By Ronen Medzini April 19, 2010

Under Israeli law, the State provides funding of 65-75% to recognized unofficial haredi schools, but a few months ago the City Council approved the full funding of the activity of ultra-Orthodox educational institutions, while clearly discriminating against other sectors.

Judge Solberg ruled that the City Council's decision will be cancelled as of the beginning of the next school year.

‘The haredi who made it’

By Peggy Cidor April 23, 2010

Shock and stupefaction are the major reactions expressed by most of the haredi representatives – whether they are municipal employees or elected – to the news of former mayor Uri Lupolianski’s arrest on suspicion of corruption in the Holyland project.

As for the fact that the major story of the week was hardly mentioned in most of the haredi press, according to Meshi-Zahav the issue was treated the way that media treat any embarrassing issue such as rape or murder. It is simply not mentioned.

Jerusalem police charge Haredi youth for torching Israeli flag

By Liel Kyzer April 25, 2010

Jerusalem police on Monday charged a 20-year-old ultra-Orthodox man with disorderly conduct and desecrating the state flag, after he allegedly set Israel's flag on fire in the Shabbat Square in Jerusalem a day earlier.

The suspect is a member of anti-Zionist sect Neturei Karta, which held a rally on Sunday as the Memorial Day siren honoring Israel's fallen soldiers sounded throughout the country, israeli media reported.

PHOTOS: Memorial Day – A Day that Unites

By Yechiel Spira April 19, 2010

In Bnei Brak…a memorial was held on Sunday night in the presence of community residents and rabbonim, paying tribute to the fallen, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.

The willingness to empathize with the mourners supersedes the need to explain one’s objections to the flag or the secularist nature of the modern state.

…When the memorial siren sounded on Sunday night, Kol Chai Radio called on the tzibur to “avoid chilul Hashem” above all, pleading with those who simply cannot stand idle for one minute to make certain they are indoors, out of the public eye, rather than stirring the fuel of dispute and arouse pain in those who yet do not understand the Torah way.

“Stand still and recite tehillim” was the message from Kol Chai, as the broadcast shifted to the recitation of tehillim with the audible siren wailing in the background.

Israel Memorial Day in Bnei Brak 2010 ( April 19, 2010

Click here for photos

Israeli Independence Day: The Israeli flag at Ponavez April 20, 2010

The Israeli flag flown at the Ponavez Yeshiva in Bnei Brak every year on Yom Ha’atzmut

Haredim protest Remembrance Day

By Lahav Harkov April 19, 2010

Some haredi extremists protested against the State of Israel in Jerusalem on Monday, shortly before the Remembrance Day siren.

Neturei Karta hold anti-Israel protest on Memorial Day eve

By Shmulik Grossman April 18, 2010

Some 150 members of the anti-Zionist sect rioted in Jerusalem's Shabbat Square and waved anti-Israel signs. One protestor went as far as burning the Israeli flag and was promptly arrested.

Mayor Closing Haifa's Separate Beach for Sailing Competition

By Ezra Reichman April 21, 2010

Click here for original Hebrew article

Haifa chareidim are incensed with Mayor Yonah Yahav, who decided to temporarily close down Haifa's separate beach to enable an international sailing competition.

The closest separate beach for religious Haifa residents to use is in far off Kiryat Chaim. The city says the chareidim are ungrateful bordering on the scandalous.

Jewish group files complaint against radio broadcaster

By Kobi Nahshoni April 25, 2010

Representatives of the "Jerusalem Association for Equality", a Haredi public group fighting against religious discrimination on Thursday filed a complaint with the police against radio talk-show host Gabi Gazit, the radio station management and the Second Authority for Television and Radio, in which they claimed Gazit's remarks about haredim being "parasites", "leeches" and "worms" that must be sent out of the country were calls of incitement.

Popular radio host Gabi Gazit: Haredim are 'leeches, worms'

By Gili Izikovich and Yair Ettinger April 23, 2010

Popular radio talk show host Gabi Gazit called Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews "leeches" and "worms" in a monologue on his show yesterday.

His remarks on the regional station Radio Lelo Hafsaka (Nonstop Radio), which broadcasts in the center and north of the country, were in response to Independence Day clashes between policemen and ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who oppose celebration of the holiday.

Get Your Kosher Ice Cream: A New Parlor Draws Crowds and Critics

By Yaffi Spodek and Josh Tapper April 24, 2010

“Besides the food and ingredients, we are very strict about modesty,” said Rabbi Menachem Gorlitz, Rubin’s primary mashgiach.

“There shouldn’t be a mixture of men and women hanging out in an environment that is lacking in modesty. If we see or hear that there are problems in this area, I would definitely take away the kashrut certificate.”

Menachem Friedman, a sociologist and professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan University, said the opening of Zisalek reflects an entrepreneurial spirit in a historically poor community. But communal norms still prevail.

He predicts it’s only a matter of time before Zisalek shuts down. “It only takes one incident where men and women establish relations and that’s it,” he said.

R’ Hager Shlita: Reading HaMevaser and Hamodia is Prohibited

By Yechiel Spira April 21, 2010

Rav Yisrael Hager Shlita, the son of the Vishnitzer Rebbe Shlita, delivered an address to mark the beginning of a new ‘zman’ following the Pesach vacation.

The address was delivered in Brechfeld in Modi’in Illit, during which the Rav stated it is absolutely forbidden to read the daily chareidi newspapers.

Rav Hager stated it is absolutely forbidden for a yeshiva bachur to read the chareidi dailies, adding they should also not carry cellular telephones because they can damage one’s neshama.

Rav Hagar added a bachur should also not travel to Meron on Lag B’Omer, stressing he makes the statements in the name of his father, the Rebbe Shlita.

Chareidi Battle May Shift from Bones to Stadium

By Yechiel Spira April 25, 2010

With Atra Kadisha and the Eida Chareidit vowing to hold a major protest against plans to move graves to permit construction of a new fortified wing of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, it appears Ashdod City Hall is planning to construct a stadium to accommodate 20,000 visitors in the Rova Aleph neighborhood, near a chareidi population.

Such a project would result in shabbos sporting events, a most unwelcome reality for the community’s chareidi residents.

Samaria Wines Win Big; Victor Credits Shemittah Year

By Maayana Miskin April 23, 2010

Ben-Sheetrit was given an opportunity to address the audience after winning, and he used the opportunity to tell the hundreds of assembled winery owners, wine experts, journalists and tourists that he credits his success to his observance of the shemittah year, and to the fact that his grapes are grown in the portion of the land of Israel belonging to the biblical Joseph (Yosef), who is buried a short distance from Yitzhar.

JA plans radical reorganization

By Haviv Rettig Gur April 23, 2010

“One issue that is very much on the minds of our constituents [the federations, Keren Hayesod, etc.], is the question of the Jewish identity of Israelis and what role the Jewish people has in connecting young Israelis to a sense of themselves as Jews,” the official said.

Study: Relations with Diaspora Jewry in danger

By Yedida Peretz April 20, 2010

A new study published by the Lifshitz College of Education in Jerusalem ahead of Independence Day shows that the relations between Israel's Jews and the Diaspora Jewry are in danger.

According to the research, the Jewish public in Israel appears to be ignorant when it comes to the Diaspora Jewry, and this may lead to a cultural separation between the Jewish people in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora and weaken the State of Israel's status as the global Jewish center.

Conservative leader laments growing Israel-Diaspora divide

By Johanna Ginsberg April 21, 2010

Arnold Eisen is calling for a revisioning of Zionism. Why? The Conservative movement leader views the relationship between American Jews and Israeli Jews as “fraying to the point of dissolution.”

“The answer has to lie in fostering experiences of American Jews involving Israel and fostering experience of Israeli Jews of us. Birthright is the beginning of this,” he said, referring to the free trips to Israel for young people, “but only the beginning, and there’s a lot more that’s needed.

Finally, in order to remedy the lack of relationship between Diaspora and Israeli Jews, he suggested the creation of conversations, or “shared partnerships,” among Jews on both sides of the divide.

Love of Israel: After post-Zionism

By Bambi Sheleg Opinion April 22, 2010

We have discovered the hard way that the individualistic and sectoral society that has developed here in recent years cannot solve the momentous problems that face us.

We must then form a new covenant between the collective and its individual constituents, and between the various sectors of the population itself.

In Budapest, Jewish history came looking for us

By Haviv Rettig Gur Opinion April 21, 2010

There we were – Jews from every corner of the globe trapped under a cloud of ash in the ghetto where Theodor Herzl was born; eyes stinging from recalling our fallen youth, surrounded by a nation that last week gave 17 percent of its votes to anti-Semites – hearing a call to renewed devotion from a rabbi in a black coat and white beard.

We went to Europe looking for a small parcel of Jewish history. It felt as though Jewish history had come looking for us.

Thoroughly Modern Theodor

By Amnon Rubinstein Opinion April 21, 2010

Herzl believed in the separation of religion and state: Rabbis should be confined to their synagogues in the same way as army officers are confined to their barracks. In the Jewish state, religious freedom and freedom from religion are both ensured.

…This is Herzl’s Judaism: an inclusive religious tradition separated from the state, imbued with Western liberal values and combining the old with the new — offering inspiration, once again, to the world.

Herzl imagines a Friday night in Jerusalem as follows: “throngs of worshippers made their way to the Temple and to the many synagogues…. there to pray to the God whose banner Israel had borne throughout the world for thousands of years.”

Zionism is alive and well – and getting younger every day

By David Breakstone Opinion April 23, 2010

Good news. I found them. That lost generation everyone is always bemoaning, those between the ages of 25 and 40 whom Jewish organizations perpetually have such a difficult time attracting to their ranks.

Not a danger to the Jewish people

By Alexander Yakobson Opinion April 22, 2010

The truth, however, is that these immigrants present no danger to the Jewish people - if we correctly understand the term "people" as a sovereign nation-state. On the contrary, they represent a historic victory of modern Jewish nationhood.

It is no trifling matter that today, in this country, we Jews are not being assimilated into other nations, but others are being assimilated into us. Assimilation, at least in the first generation, need not be decisive and complete to be successful. Who understands that better than Jews?

Building Birthright Alumni Networks

By Sharon Udasin April 20, 2010

Interview with Morlie Levin, formerly the national executive director of Hadassah, is slated next month to take on the new post of CEO at Birthright Israel NEXT.

Taglit Will Bring 21,000 to Israel this Summer April 20, 2010

Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel, said “We set a goal for ourselves that within the next 7-10 years, half of Jewish youth living in the Diaspora will visit Israel through our program.

BBI Awards for Diaspora Reporting April 20, 2010

Tamar Ish-Shalom and Israel Rosner receive broadcast media award for Channel 10 series on U.S. Jewish community; Eliahu Birnbaum receives print media award for Makor Rishon series on remote Jewish communities.

Certificate of Merit to Shmuel Rosner, Chief U.S. Correspondent for "Ha'aretz;" Certificate of Excellence to Or Kashti, Ha'aretz education correspondent; Lifetime Achievement Award to Ma'ariv founder and Editor-in-Chief Shalom Rosenfeld.

Poll: Shabbat connects youth to Israel

By Tzofia Hirschfeld April 23, 2010

The survey was conducted among 2,000 teenagers aged 16 to 18 in a bid to discover the thing which most connects the youth to the country they are living in. Some 43% of the respondents said they view Shabbat and Jewish holidays as their deepest connection to the country.

About 20% of the respondents said the Hebrew language is what most connects them to the country. Hearing the Hebrew language everywhere, the Israeli songs and the Israeli culture make them feel that they are in the right place.

Poll: Model Israeli citizen serves his country April 22, 2010

The first question asked by the surveyors was: "What do you think it takes to be a model Israeli citizen?": about 80% percent of the respondents said model citizens are those who either serve in the army or perform national service;

According to the poll, secular (74%) and traditional (65%) Israeli Jews are mostly concerned about the honesty and decency of the country's citizens, while the ultra-Orthodox (92%) and religious Jews (68%) want Israel to become "more Jewish."

Our true friends

By Dan Calic Opinion April 22, 2010

Those who will stand with us will be Christian Zionists such as Pastor John Hagee. Some Jews may say the reason the Christian Zionists ‘love’ us so much is more about fulfillment of their own eschatology than genuine love and respect for the Jewish people.

While there may be some element of truth to this notion, as a Jew if I have to choose between those willing to stand with us and support our country vs. those who murder our people, wish to destroy our country and believe in a god who curses us, the choice becomes an easy one.

An unorthodox aliyah

By Lily Galili April 22, 2010

The conversation with Father David Neuhaus, S.J., takes place on the three different levels that constitute his identity.

In part, it is an exchange of ideas with a "standard Israeli leftist," a member of a disappearing species.

It is also a conversation with a Jesuit monk, spiced with a pinch of theology, and a discussion with a veteran Jewish immigrant from South Africa, who can draw, or dispense with, similarities and differences between his native land and the country in which he chose to spend his life.

David Neuhaus was born 48 years ago in South Africa to a German Jewish couple that escaped during the Holocaust.

Galilee Diary: Definitions VI

By Marc Rosenstein Opinion April 20, 2010

A couple of months ago I began a series of entries trying to explain the fine points of difference among the religious "streams" in Israel. Before moving on, herewith a scorecard, to help keep track of the players (in rough order of numbers):

Religion and State in Israel

April 26, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.