Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - October 18, 2010 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

October 18, 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.

Education Ministry mum as Haredim show defiance

By Jonah Mandel www.jpost.com October 19, 2010

Haredi defiance of Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar’sdeclared crackdown on their state-funded schools remained unanswered on Monday, after the spiritual leadership of the Ashkenazi haredim, fearful that Sa’ar would tighten supervision of core curriculum instruction, convened Sunday night to confront what they consider external meddling in a crucial internal matter.

“The leaders of the Haredi public are dooming students of the exempted institutions to a life of ignorance, poverty and total separation from the general Israeli pubic, all under the fake cover of generations of Jewish tradition,” said Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of the Reform Movement in Israel.

A poverty trap in the Galilee

By Shahar Ilan Opinion www.haaretz.com October 18, 2010

The writer is the vice president of research and information at Hiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality.

Housing Minister Ariel Atias is under heavy pressure to provide cheap housing at any cost. But we must not allow the construction of Haredi cities that will lock their residents out of the world of employment.

The future of the Israeli economy depends on having Haredim go out to work, and we must not bury this future in poverty traps in the Galilee and the Negev.

United Torah Judaism Gafni threatens coalition crisis over home prices

By Zvi Zrahiya www.haaretz.com October 12, 2010

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, is threatening a coalition crisis unless the government acts quickly to lower housing prices, especially for the sake of young couples.

Gafni and his party are demanding aid for young couples buying their first homes in the periphery.

Deputy PM Meridor: Arab, Haredi birthrates crazy

By Tani Goldstein www.ynetnews.com October 12, 2010

Minister Meridor, a father of four, continued his critique of the ultra-Orthodox sector by saying the State must insist upon requiring basic subjects to be taught at haredi schools.

When asked how the issue was relevant to social gaps and poverty he responded, "It is definitely relevant. One of the reasons for poverty is the fact that people don't receive education and schooling that pertain to the modern world."

Uni program for haredi students marks anniversary

By Jonah Mandel www.jpost.com October 18, 2010

Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer noted the importance of participating in the workforce, and cited the rising numbers of haredim in higher education institutions as an encouraging factor, indicative of the growing trend of their participation in the economy.

“But this is just a beginning. The numbers are still small,” he said. “I know of the problems in integrating haredim into the workforce, but they can be solved. I hope the haredi community itself will realize [the importance of joining the workforce], and support all measures to encourage that.”

Conference: The Haredi Community in a Changing Society


On Wednesday, October 13, 2010, IDI hosted a conference entitled "The Haredi Community in a Changing Society: Education, Employment, and Military Service."

This conference was conducted as part of the activities of IDI's research program on Israel as a Nation State, headed by IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Anita Shapira, laureate of the 2008 Israel Prize for Jewish History.

Shas agrees to resume standardized testing in its schools

By Or Kashti www.haaretz.com October 13, 2010

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said yesterday he has reached an understanding with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that students in the Shas educational network would resume taking the standardized tests given to fifth- through eighth-graders.

Sa'ar said the exams, which test Hebrew or Arabic, English, math, and science and technology, would be adapted for the Shas schools, for example, to exclude images of women.

Rabbi Avraham Wasserman, are you against young people pursuing a university education?

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com October 12, 2010

Rabbi Avraham Wasserman teaches in a hesder yeshiva (where religious studies are combined with army service ) in Ramat Gan and is the leader of the Gvurat Mordechai Orthodox congregation in Givatayim.

About 10 days ago an article he wrote entitled "A little stupidity: On the search for a career and too much education" was published in the "Olam Katan" leaflet distributed in religious Zionist synagogues.

High Court Rules against Street Barrier Separating Men and Women

www.nif.org October 13, 2010

The ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim district dismantled a street barrier separating men and women after the High Court of Justice ruled last week that the practice was unacceptable.

The High Court was responding to a petition by NIF grantee Yerushalmim, which had insisted that any division of public space by gender in Israel is illegal.

Where is the ‘tzniut’?

By Yehudah Mirsky Opinion www.jpost.com October 13, 2010

The writer is a member of the Board of Yerushalmim, a fellow of the Jewish People Policy Institute and a contributing editor at Jewish Ideas Daily. He is currently writing a biography of Rav Kook.

True modesty should not attempt to erase women, whether in the recesses of Mea She’arim, or through their objectification in the aggressive world of advertising.

'Taliban mom's' sentencing appeal denied

By Aviad Glickman www.ynetnews.com October 11, 2010

The Beit Shemesh women knows as "Taliban mom," who was convicted of gravely abusing six of her 12 children will serve her full prison sentence of four years, the High Court ruled Monday.

Getting Haredim on the environmental bandwagon

By David Halevi www.mfa.gov.il October 14, 2010

Helping Israel's ultra-Orthodox understand the benefits of protecting the environment and advocating for them is the goal of a new Haredi NGO.

Police: Psychiatrist helped Haredim get stipends

By Eli Senyor www.ynetnews.com October 18, 2010

A senior psychiatrist with the Health Ministry is suspected of authorizing false claims made by yeshiva students, which allowed them to cheat the National Insurance Institute out of millions, Ynet has learned.

Ethiopian rabbi brings synagogue to life

By Itamar Eichner www.ynetnews.com October 11, 2010

It was exactly two years ago that Yedioth Ahronoth's David Regev published a story about the appointment of Rabbi Sharon Shalom, a 37-year old Ethiopian who married an Ashkenazi Israeli and fathered four, to the position of rabbi of Kdoshei Yisrael Synagogue in Kiryat Gat.

His appointment as an Ethiopian rabbi serving a congregation of Holocaust survivors was unprecedented, yet there is only one way to describe what Rabbi Shalom has managed to accomplish in the past two years – a revolution.

Israel on way to kashrut overhaul?

By Roni Sofer www.ynetnews.com October 12, 2010

The Chief Rabbinate on Thursday removed its objection to the establishment of a national authority operating kosher supervisors, instead of the supervisors currently employed by the local rabbinates.

A bill on the matter is slated to be brought before the Ministerial Committee at the beginning of the winter session, and is meant to prevent financial irregularities, nepotism and inadequate supervision – as revealed by a State Comptroller Report.

No Religious Soldiers Accepted into Army Radio

www.israelnationalnews.com October 11, 2010

Army Radio - Galatz, Israel's second largest station, did not accept a single religious soldier into its roster for the coming year.

The move stands in stark contrast to the growing number of religious combat officers - which currently stands at over 30%.

'Rabbis committed to Torah, not democracy'

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com October 15, 2010

"Rabbis aren't bound by democracy's restrictions" – according to Elon Moreh's Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, one of Judea and Samaria's senior rabbis.

At a debate discussing the involvement of rabbis in public struggles, on Wednesday, Rabbi Levanon stated that the democratic system of governance and decision making "distorts reality" because it creates a false compromising middle ground, which is why rabbis are committed to the Torah - the "absolute truth" – and are not committed to democracy.

Religious students warned about the dangers of university

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com October 11, 2010

A long list of dangers awaits young men and women from the religious Zionist community beginning their first days at university or college, according to some of the community's rabbis.

Divine motivation

By Jonah Mandel and Erica Garner www.jpost.com October 15, 2010

Last Tuesday was the third time in the past year Rabbi Menahem Froman paid a respectful visit to a vandalized West Bank mosque, allegedly damaged by Jewish arsonists.

Be'er Sheva councilman: Close culture center on Sabbath 'so all can enjoy it'

By Yanir Yagna www.haaretz.com October 14, 2010

Be'er Sheva's city council on Wednesday discussed a proposal by Orthodox councilmen to close the city's popular cultural center on the Sabbath.

Closure would mean ending the city's popular Saturday events there, featuring interviews with national politicians and public figures and other activities.

Disappointment with Fischer for Sabbath Speech

By Gil Ronen www.israelnationalnews.com October 11, 2010

Professor Stanley Fischer has recently received a series of important honors abroad, culminating with his being named the best central bank governor in the world for 2010 by an important publication.

However, he appears to have slipped up Saturday when he gave a speech at the International Monetary Fund convention in Washington, DC, despite the Jewish Sabbath – and he is getting flak over it in Israel.

Rabbi Yosef's son: Newly religious must become Sephardic

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com October 11, 2010

Rabbi Avraham Yosef, chief rabbi of the city of Holon, and son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, stated that any newly religious person must accept Sephardic religious edicts, even if the person is of Ashkenazi descent.

Shas party split on settlement freeze extension

By Jonathan Lis and Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com October 11, 2010

The office of Shas chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai issued a statement on Sunday night that said Yishai had been instructed by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to "strongly oppose any form of a settlement freeze extension."

Rav Ovadia

By Yehudah Mirsky www.jidaily.com October 12, 2010

In order to beat the Ashkenazim at their own game, Shas adopted the fiercely ideological brand of Ashkenazi politics. In the process, the character of Sephardi Judaism metamorphosed from, one might say, tradition to Orthodoxy.

One of the last great inheritors of that humane tradition, Rav Ovadia had set out to restore it but ended by remaking it through an imposed, alien uniformity.

He also amassed more political power than any rabbi in post-talmudic history; but will he be remembered for that, rather than for his truly awesome learning and teaching?

Yosef: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews

By Jonah Mandel www.jpost.com October 18, 2010

The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

Hareidi Religious Rabbis Flock to Temple Mount

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu www.israelnationalnews.com October 13, 2010

The hareidi religious community has been visiting the Temple Mount in larger numbers than ever, according to Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.

On the recent Simchat Torah holiday, 30 hareidi religious Jews, wearing their traditional fur hats (“shtreimels”) marched around the holy site instead of the traditional dancing in synagogue on the holiday, Rabbi Glick added. “Every day, yeshiva students from the Mir and Hevron yeshiva come

Palestinians earn a living making Jewish skullcaps

By Jon Donnison www.bbc.co.uk October 15, 2010

In Jerusalem's main market, Mahane Yehuda, Palestinian-made kippot can be found for sale.

"We have some kippot made by Palestinians," says Itzik Sheler, a little sheepishly, who works at the Kippa Man store on the market's main street.

"They are not as cheap as the Chinese-made ones, but they are cheaper than those made by Israelis."

Religion and State in Israel

October 18, 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.