Monday, July 26, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - July 26, 2010 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

July 26, 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.

Shas, UTJ reject conversion bill freeze

By Jonah Mandel July 25, 2010

The agreement for an all-around moratorium on the legal actions that could change the status quo of conversions in Israel seems to be accepted only by liberal Jewish groups, while the Haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, which supported Israel Beiteinu MK David Rotem’s conversion bill in its recent Knesset Law Committee vote, were not part of such a deal.

Rotem told The Jerusalem Post that he was not party to the understandings, and did not know if he would participate in the planned talks. The Knesset was on a recess until October, and no legislation could be advanced anyway, Rotem said.

US Jews protest arrest of woman at Kotel

By Hilary Leila Krieger July 23, 2010

WASHINGTON – Close to 50 protesters, among them a dozen rabbis, warned the Israeli government on Thursday that the recent arrest of a woman carrying a Torah at the Kotel risked alienating American Jewry.

The arrest of Hoffman, a leader of the Reform Movement in Israel, comes at a delicate time in Israeli-Diaspora relations, as members of the American community have mobilized to oppose a conversion bill in the Knesset that would anchor in law Orthodox rabbis’ control over the process in Israel.

It was an Orthodox rabbi, however, who organized Thursday’s protest, in part to show that many Orthodox Jews embrace the right of women to hold Torah scrolls, and oppose Hoffman’s arrest.

Hassidim invite Sephardi girls to school

By Jonah Mandel July 23, 2010

Slonimer Hassidim who removed their daughters from the Emmanuel Beit Ya’acov school are apparently trying to talk certain Sephardi parents into sending their children to the new school they are planning to open in the town, though the motives behind the move are not entirely clear.

...While the Slonimers have claimed all along that the separation was a result of religious stringency and not racial discrimination, the Yediot report said that the recent outreach was most probably due to the fact that the hassidim needed a certain quota of students to get the partial state funding for their planned school.

Rabbi Yitzhak Weinberg, one of the Emmanuel fathers who spent just over a week in prison, stressed that while the new school was indeed short a few heads, money was not behind the appeal to the Sephardi parents.

'Haredi unemployment unsustainable'

By Arieh O'Sullivan, The Media Line News Agency July 22, 2010

“By the time you are up to 10 percent of the population of whom 70 percent of the male part of the population doesn’t work, you are getting to a macroeconomic issue,” he said at a media conference.
“What is more of concern is the rate of growth of this community, this population relative to the rest of the population.”

Haredi unemployment costs billions annually

By Jonathan Golan July 22, 2010

The Israeli economy stands to lose more than NIS 6 billion ($1.55 billion) annually as result of low haredi participation in the workforce, a new report found.

The report was commissioned by the Treasury at the request of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense sub-committee, headed by Knesset Member Yohanan Plesner (Kadima).

Israel Bank Chief Warns Ultra-Orthodox: Get a Job

By Matthew Kalman July 21, 2010

Dan Ben-David, director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel:

"People say that the haredim don't work, that it's a religious or a cultural thing, but that isn't true." "Thirty years ago they did work. Then, the rate of nonemployment was 21 percent. Now it's 65 percent. It grew threefold."

"It is still possible to change direction," he added. "The government must understand the implications of these trends and adopt a comprehensive program to change them without delay."

Bank of Israel chief: Haredi unemployment is hurting Israel's economy

Agencies July 22, 2010

The rate of growth among the ultra-Orthodox, in which a majority of men don't work, is an economic problem, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said earlier this week.

Only in Israel: Torah-only education

By Amir Shoan Opinion July 22, 2010

Throughout history and throughout the world, Judaism's great spiritual thinkers have combined Torah study with a broad general education that served as a basis for their writings and the difficult questions with which they were confronted.

Today, too, the haredi public abroad runs advanced educational institutes that integrate Jewish studies and secular studies, training their graduates to join the job market.

Only in Israel do less than 9% of haredim hold high school matriculation certificates or an academic degree. Some 65% of haredi men, who are supposed to be the breadwinners for their families, do not work.

The cursed question

By Rachel Elboim-Dror 0pinion July 25, 2010

The critical and suspicious reception given to the Education Ministry's program for bolstering Jewish studies in educational institutions reveals some of the complexity and internal contradictions that characterize Israeli society.

...As for the concern that the program will create alienation and indoctrinate secular students, that depends on who will teach and how, and not on the content.

Are the ultra-Orthodox digging their own grave?

By Shay Fogelman July 25, 2010

The recent ultra-Orthodox demonstrations against the desecration of graves, caused by excavations adjacent to the Andromeda apartment complex in Jaffa, surprised many in the Tel Aviv District Police.

..."Atra Kadisha climbed too far out on a limb this time," said a senior ultra-Orthodox journalist who wishes to remain anonymous. "When they say that the main halakhic arbiters and most of the public are not behind them, they will have no choice. They will be the ones who come down, branch by branch."

Developer Aby Rosen unearths cemetery while building $600M hotel in Israel, angering Orthodox Jews

By Gatecrasher July 22, 2010

Aby Rosen's plans to build a $60 million hotel in the Holy Land have turned hellish.

The real estate developer and his partner Michael Fuchs have stoked the anger of Orthodox Jews after construction crews working for their company, RFR Holding, unearthed an ancient cemetery while building the luxury inn in Jaffa, Israel.

Daughter sues Nat'l Insurance for refusing to pay for mother's burial in Bnei Brak

By Dana Weiler-Polak July 22, 2010

A Bnei Brak resident who wanted to bury her dead mother in the city's cemetery was surprised to learn that the National Insurance Institute does not cover the costs for locals to be buried there. M. subsequently filed a suit against the NII at the Tel Aviv Labor Court, demanding the institute cover burial costs for Jewish residents at the city's cemetery.

Jerusalem Yeshiva students expelled over driver's licenses

By Ari Galahar July 19, 2010

Darchei Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood expelled three of its students in the past two weeks, after discovering they have obtained driver's licenses.

The yeshiva students said the management feared that those dismissed might have a bad influence over the rest of the students.

Electra may halt service to Haredi areas July 20, 2010

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Electra Consumer Products Ltd. is considering halting services to haredi areas after violent attacks against the company's technicians. The company has hired private security guards at the homes of its executives.

Probing the roots of neglect

By Tamar Rotem July 23, 2010

The Chabad clinic serves "families that barely make it to the end of the month, in which the fathers study at a kollel" (a yeshiva for married men), according to Donat, a resident of the Betar Ilit community outside Jerusalem.

...Although [Deputy Health Minister Yaakov] Litzman's scheme is intended for the entire public, members of the ultra-Orthodox sector are among those that need it most. Donat believes the reform "will solve a great deal of problems," but adds that it is inadequate, as "there are children up to the age of 12 or 13 who also need treatment."

Notes on a scandal

By Yair Ettinger July 23, 2010

For the past 17 years, journalist Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim has been racking his brain, trying to figure out how to finish his biography of Rabbi Amram Blau (1894-1974), the legendary leader of the extremist, ultra-Orthodox group Neturei Karta.

The war against croutons

By Brian Blum July 22, 2010

In the war against croutons, Bamba, and cleaning products, the “Badatz Free” protest group is claiming its first victory: Massive food manufacturer Nestle has launched its new Joya line of gourmet ice creams without the controversial kosher certification of the Eda Haredit.

Several months ago, Badatz Free launched a campaign calling on the public to boycott products with the “Badatz Yerushalayim” sponsored by the Eda Haredit, a group that has been at the forefront of many of the more extreme conflicts between halacha (Jewish law) and the running of a modern state.

On the menu: Kosher guineafowl, locust

By Zvi Singer July 25, 2010

Kosher swordfish, buffalo meat, cow's udders and even locust – these are just some of the "delicacies" that were served Thursday night in an unusual feast held in Jerusalem.

The unusual event was attended by rabbis, professors, zoologists and chefs who were to feast on the meat of rare animals and birds.

Jerusalem 2111

By Amir Mizroch July 23, 2010

On July 15 an international sci-fi competition for a “Vision of Jerusalem 100 Years from Now” was launched...

At the Mamilla Western Wall PlazaTM itself, gender separation has long been replaced by a more scientific and equitable solution that has allowed complete unity at the holy site.

The second terminal a visitor to the Wall Plaza has to enter through is the “de-denominizer,” a walk-through device that temporarily removes a person’s religious denomination, storing it at an on-site, secure database for later retrieval when he/she walks through the “re-denominizer” machine.

Better Living Through Chemistry

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Free The Hurva!!!

By Rabbi Barry Gelman Opinion July 19, 2010

I wonder who made this deal and how it is that a place that the government spent millions of dollars refurbishing is closed to the public and only open to yeshiva bochurim.

Maverick rabbi stirred religious left

By Anshel Pfeffer July 15, 2010

In numerical terms, Rabbi Amital failed to create a viable religious political alternative, but he gave legitimacy to those within the community who could not follow the consensus. He provided the inspiration for groups like Tzohar who are at the cutting edge of modern Orthodoxy.

In Yeshivat Har Etzion, or as it is more widely known, "Gush", he created the nucleus for a new generation of rabbis, determined to lead communities fully integrated in Israeli society. Perhaps more than his political activity, this ultimately will be his legacy.

Likud lawmaker: Jews should be allowed freer access to Temple Mount

Reuters July 20, 2010

A senior lawmaker of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing party on Tuesday visited a flashpoint religious site in Jerusalem revered by Jews and Muslims, a move that has sparked violence in the past.

"If Jews want to go and pray on the Temple Mount then they should be allowed to do it," [MK Danny Danon] added.

Mount for 2 peoples

By Yaki Hafstein July 20, 2010

God's Holy Mountain group, which offers a halachic solution to the disputed Temple Mount, will present on Tuesday a theatric display featuring Jewish and Muslim actors.

The presentation is meant to raise awareness to the universal nature of the Temple Mount and to the halachic possibility of operating the Temple and Mosque side by side.

Half the Public Wants to See Holy Temple Rebuilt

By Hillel Fendel July 18, 2010

Forty nine percent said they want the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, while 23% said they do not. The remainder said they were unsure.

The public is about evenly split on whether they believe it will happen, with a slight edge – 42% to 39% – to those who believe the Third Holy Temple will be rebuilt.

Should the State of Israel take active steps towards the reconstruction? Forty-eight percent said no, while 27% said yes.

Religion and State in Israel

July 26, 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.