Monday, June 21, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - June 21, 2010 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

June 21, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

*Articles on the Haredi school segregation case will be included in an upcoming special edition.

High Court abolishes state stipends for married yeshiva students

By Jonathan Lis, Yair Ettinger and Tomer Zarchin June 15, 2010

The High Court of Justice yesterday ruled that the provision of state stipends to adult yeshiva students violates the principle of equality stipulated in the budget foundation law as well as legal precedents.

Interior Minister and Shas party chairman Eli Yishai said that Shas intends to introduce a bill that would maintain the status quo with regard to income support for married yeshiva students or alternatively to address the issue through the Economic Arrangements Bill, the supplementary legislation that accompanies the annual state budget.

"The Knesset will fix this," Yishai said.

High Court: Income guarantees to kollel students unlawful

By Jonah Mandel June 15, 2010

Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of the religious freedom advocacy group Hiddush, called the ruling a correction of historic “injustice and discrimination” that bears important tidings to the Israeli economy, as “these payments were one of the primary factors enabling haredi men to avoid partaking in the labor market.”

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of the Reform Movement in Israel, called the ruling “an important message to all of those who are troubled by the ongoing growth of the culture of poverty, as well as the economic, civil and security inequality in Israel.”

He stressed that it was the state’s duty to act immediately to mainstream the haredi populace and incorporate the core-curriculum subjects in their schools.

Shas source: We'll ensure stipend for secular students as well

By Yaheli Moran Zelikovich and Attila Somfalvi June 15, 2010

"We will make it so that everyone is satisfied. The High Court ruled that there is discrimination, and we do not mind rectifying it so that (secular) students are also made eligible to receive assured income," said the source, adding, "it is doubtful that there are many, since the criteria for yeshiva students' assured income speak of married couples where neither partner works and that have three children. How many (secular) students like that do you know?"

Yeshiva students reeling in wake of stipend cancellation

By Yair Ettinger June 15, 2010

The implication is that Haredi cabinet ministers and MKs are about to fight for a line item that costs NIS 135 million a year - NIS 45 million of which, allegedly, is allocated fraudulently.

...Nearly 11,000 married yeshiva students receive the state stipend.

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush characterized as "repulsive" the parallel drawn by the court between yeshiva students and university students.

"Yeshiva students study for dozens of hours every week in order to preserve the soul of the Jewish people," he said.

Years later, leader's struggle against grants bears fruit

By Jonathan Lis June 15, 2010

The man who embodied the fighting spirit against state grants for yeshiva students did not have a chance to see the fruits of his struggle.

Ornan Yekutieli, a former Jerusalem city councilman and a key activist in the battle against religious coercion in the capital, died of heart disease in 2001, a year after the original petition was filed with the High Court.

An end to the stipends / Constitutional questions

By Ze'ev Segal June 15, 2010

The law ensuring stipends for yeshiva students as part of their subsistence, according to the ruling, contradicts the law on subsistence payments which does not guarantee similar payments for any student.

A learned ruling

JPost Editorial June 15, 2010

The time has come for the haredi community to reassess its standing. It is no longer the weak, embattled minority that it was in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

The haredi leadership can no longer justify devoting all of its energies to the singular endeavor of preserving tradition and insulating its flock from “evil” outside influences. It must now rise to new challenges.

First and foremost among these is ensuring that while an elite few continue to carry the torch of tradition, others receive the skills needed to integrate into a dynamic labor market.

The government's test of principle

Haaretz Editorial June 16, 2010

[The] High Court ruling places the prime minister and his cabinet before an important test.

If Yishai and his friends succeed in pulling the rug from under the court decision, the premier, his finance minister, justice minister, education minister and welfare minister will not only need to explain to the public why they failed to prevent the erosion of the court's standing, but they will also need to clarify the reasons for their preference of yeshiva students over students who will soon come to represent the pillars of Israel's economy and academia.

Court: Cancel yeshiva students' assured income

By Aviad Glickman June 14, 2010

Dissenting Justice Edmond Levy, the only religious judge on the panel, said studying the Torah is "a command of the bible, which the Knesset and government believed should be funded".

The separation between yeshiva and other students is based on "relevant difference", he added.

Rabbi: Seculars' raison d’ĂȘtre sustaining yeshiva boys

By Ari Galahar June 16, 2010

Rabbi Shteinman, 97, added that currently there is a state of symbiosis between seculars and haredim: "They help us and God Almighty helps them."

Just ask Jenny

By Yuval Albashan Opinion June 17, 2010

Instead of paving the way for people like Baruchi by granting them the same status as yeshiva students, the High Court preferred to abolish the arrangement they had enjoyed...

Steinitz: We need haredim and Arabs in workforce

By Sharon Wrobel June 16, 2010

Steinitz said it was important to recruit haredi men and women into the labor market when they turn 22, when many of them already have two children, instead of waiting until they are 35 or 40, as it is the case today, when it is hard for them to find a job with a decent salary.

As part of the Finance Ministry’s efforts to encourage haredim to join the workforce, Steinitz said he planned to submit an amendment to the Tal Law that would exempt haredim who are age 22 with at least two children from army service, which would allow them to work.

Chareidi Lawmaker Challenges Meretz Bus Advert Campaign

By Yechiel Spira June 18, 2010

Rabbi Avraham Ravitz (UTJ) has sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, requesting he probe the bus campaign launched by the left-wing Meretz Party, displaying signs on buses “An end to the chareidization of Jerusalem.”

IDF proposes new model for enlisting ultra-Orthodox students

By Amos Harel June 16, 2010

The Israel Defense Forces has proposed a new model for the implementation of the Tal Law in an attempt to conscript several thousand more ultra-Orthodox into its ranks annually.

The army is willing to see the age limit drop to 27, and in parallel proposes increasing the number of ultra-Orthodox conscripted by including younger men who pass Labor Ministry courses prior to conscription and older Haredim who will serve a shortened term and be incorporated into the IDF's 'emergency reserves'.

IDF opposes exemption program for haredi fathers

By Tani Goldstein June 16, 2010

Elements in the Israel Defense Forces are not keen on a new Finance Ministry program which would provide an automatic draft exemption for haredi men over the age of 22 with two or more children.

The plan is aimed at enabling ultra-Orthodox men to join the work force, however IDF Personnel Directorate chief Major-General Avi Zamir said it may have far reaching implications for the IDF.

Aish Machal recruits non-Israelis for IDF

By Sam Cross June 17, 2010

Not since the days before the War of Independence – when David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin scoured the globe seeking members of the Diaspora to fight in the War of Independence – has an organization proactively recruited non-Israelis to serve in the nation’s military.

Aish Machal decided to fill this void by establishing a full-enlistment army volunteer program for non-Israeli citizens.

Religious Soldiers in the Israel's Army

By Eliav Rodman June 3, 2010

Eliav Rodman, an informal Jewish educator, is a Lieutenant in the IDF reserves and a student of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In the first years of the State, nearly all Jewish Israelis served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As the security situation in Israel stabilized, religious leaders sought to create frameworks that would allow religious men to combine study at yeshivot (religious academies) with army service.

Many of these programs were created because the majority of the army, and its predominant cultural norms, are secular. Thus, religious soldiers in the IDF face unique challenges relating to issues of daily life, such as dress code and food, and religious practice, such as prayer, Shabbat, and holidays.

Coalition to Discuss IDF Radio Sabbath Broadcast

By Gil Ronen June 16, 2010

The ruling coalition will discuss Monday whether the IDF may issue an order allowing the employment of soldiers in the IDF Radio station on Sabbaths. The debate is expected to be stormy, with members from Shas, United Torah Judaism, the Jewish Home and part of the Likud poised to object strenuously to the idea.

IDF Radio is a military station that employs civilians as well as IDF officers, NCOs and soldiers in mandatory service. It broadcasts seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Soldiers are employed in the station on Sabbaths, in apparent contravention of military orders that forbid employing a mandatory-service soldier on Jewish holy days in any role that is not essential for security.

Who Decides on Shabbos Elevators?

By Yechiel Spira June 14, 2010

The Ministerial Legislative Committee has approved a bill introduced by MK (Ichud HaLeumi) Yaakov Katz that addresses residents of an apartment house complex wishing to install a shabbos elevator.

President Peres Amended his Schedule to Avoid Chilul Shabbos

By Yechiel Spira June 14, 2010

President Shimon Peres was scheduled to fly from Tel Aviv to South Korea on a Korean Air flight, but requested from Shin Bet officials that they approve another airline since the flight booked would have entailed chilul shabbos.

VIDEO: Officers hurt in haredi riots in Jaffa

Click here for VIDEO

1,000 Haredim protest at Jaffa excavation site

By Yaniv Kubovich June 17, 2010

About 1,000 ultra-Orthodox protesters demonstrated yesterday morning in Jaffa to protest archaeological work in an area they believe contains Jewish graves.

Officers hurt in haredi riots in Jaffa

By Eli Senyor June 16, 2010

The police were prepared for a demonstration, but the haredi protest escalated when hundreds arrived in buses and began to riot, and climb the fence in the area to tear it down.

Hundreds of haredim riot in Jaffa

By Jonah Mandel June 16, 2010

Two photographers were also injured and an Israel Radio reporter was forced to seek protection inside a police van. The demonstrators broke into the old Jewish cemetery, which is close to the site of the dig.

Vandals deface Jaffa archaeological site; ultra-Orthodox protest nearby

By Noah Kosharek June 15, 2010

In addition to defacing historical structures, the perpetrators also damaged the archaeologists' equipment. "Our nets were torn and fences were ripped down," Arbel said. "They also created safety hazards, cutting electrical wires and taking down a fence that protected passersby from falling into the wells."

Mehadrin Beach to Open in Herzliya

By Yechiel Spira June 14, 2010

Barring any last minute changes, a separate swimming beach is set to open in Herzliya on June 27th, operated in cooperation between the Herzliya and Bnei Brak municipalities. The separate swimming beach will operate until August 31, 2010.

Chareidim in Israel Police, Prison Authority?

By Yechiel Spira June 17, 2010

The daily Yisrael HaYom reveals a plan is in the works towards enlisting chareidim into the ranks of Israel Police, Israel Prison Authority and the war on drugs. Participants in the program will be eligible in receiving the same rights as IDF veterans.

Religion and State in Israel

June 21, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.