Monday, January 31, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - January 31, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

January 31, 2011 (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.

High Court gives State 30 days to explain continued payment of yeshiva-student allowances

By Lior Dattel January 24, 2011

The High Court of Justice ordered the state to explain why it is continuing to pay married yeshiva students monthly guaranteed income allowances, and has given the state 30 days to respond.

In October, the cabinet approved a new plan for allowances for yeshiva students who do not work, and the Knesset passed the changes. Now the petitioners want to stop implementation of these new rules.

Jerusalem Labor Court: Does rabbinic ordination equal academic degree

By Jonah Mandel January 27, 2011

After a preliminary hearing on Tuesday determined that the issue should be handled in the courts, the Jerusalem Labor Court will be deciding over the next few months whether rabbinic ordination should be recognized as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, vis-à-vis the Civil Service Commission’s prerequisites for the position of a supervisor in the haredi educational system.

Concern Over Growing Haredi Numbers In Israel

By Stewart Ain January 25, 2011

Rabbi Uri Regev is president and CEO of Hiddush:

A Taub Center study showed that 30 years ago, 21 percent of the haredi males did not work. Today, 65 percent are not working.

A comparative study shows that in the same haredi communities in New York and London, 70 percent of the males were employed compared to 35 percent employed in Israel. That means that they are not working here because they are able to get away with it. They aren’t doing it in New York and London because the government does not subsidize them.

Shas MK Haim Amsalem launches new social movement

By Jonah Mandel January 25, 2011

Maverick Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem on Tuesday launched a new social movement that will strive to return the crown of moderate religious and Sephardi social activism to its former glory, as per the founding principles of Shas that he says are now no longer the spirit of the party.

“If there is no alternative, civilian marriages should take place,” he replied to a question. “Do you want people to be left stranded [without a framework to marry in]? I'd like everyone here to marry in the halachic way I believe in... but I can't force my beliefs on others, and not offer an alternative to those who don't accept it.”

Religious gay teens find safe haven

By Racheli Malek-Boda January 27, 2011

For a little over a year members of the religious Israel Gay Youth program have been holding secret meetings, online and in person.

Established in September of 2009, the youth group has joined dozens of others trying to provide lesbian and gay religious teens with a safe haven.

"Rabbis began receiving a flood of questions (online) and they could no longer ignore the phenomenon. LGBT organizations knocked on doors and demanded a halachic solution,"[Gidi Grunberg] says.

Former Shas Vice Mayor of Hadera suspected of serial rape

By Tomer Zarchin January 27, 2011

The former vice mayor of Hadera, Sami Levy, is suspected of raping, indecently assaulting, and in the case of one, forcibly confining, several women who came to him for aid in the capacity of his work.

Through a lens, darkly

By Nirit Anderman January 24, 2011

"Filling the Void" is the first film written and directed by Rama Burstein for the Israeli mainstream audience.

Burstein is an ultra-Orthodox woman who lives with her husband and children in Tel Aviv, a few streets away from the studio; she is a graduate of the second class of students at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, in Jerusalem.

Study: 61% of Haredim prefer separate communities January 24, 2011

Sixty-one percent of the ultra-Orthodox living in Israel prefer to live in towns segregated from the secular population, a new comprehensive study focusing on the haredi sector conducted by Professor Avi Degani, president of the Geocartography Group, reveals.

An Israeli Mobile Phone Provider's Hasidic Blues

By Neal Ungerleider January 24, 2011

An Israeli mobile phone provider is in trouble over an aborted ad campaign aimed at Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Cellcom, the country's most popular mobile carrier, received a rare order from the Israeli Communications Ministry to stop a marketing campaign targeted at haredi Jews.

Rabbi Leib Tropper Given Warm Welcome In Jerusalem (Hebrew)

By Shmuel Klein January 24, 2011

Click here for English translation

Tens of people gathered motzei Shabbos Shira in a bais medrash in the Bucharan section Jerusalem with the founder of yeshiva 'Kol Yaakov' Monsey, Rabbi Leib Tropper from New York.

'Chastity Squad' member sent to prison for store attack

By Aviad Glickman January 25, 2011

A member of Jerusalem's so-called "Chastity Squad" who attacked a store owner and drove away his customers – is going to jail, The Jerusalem District Court decided Tuesday.

Judge Nava Ben-Or sentenced Shmuel Weisfish, 24, to two years in prison following his conviction for several charges of violence against the owner of an electronics store in the ultra-religious Geula neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Haredim cancel boycott against Electra after MOU January 26, 2011

Israeli real estate firm Electra on Monday submitted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the haredi court in Bnei Brak, promising to "act with respect and care in the futre" regarding Israeli graves, according to Army Radio.

The haredi community accepted Electra's move and the boycott against the company was canceled.

Wedding blitz

By Tamar Rotem January 28, 2011

According to Prof. Avi Degani, president of the consultancy and applied research Geocartography Knowledge Group, the ultra-Orthodox public celebrates 7,700 weddings annually. Most of the brides and grooms are between the ages of 18 and 22.

Within a year or two they will be embracing their first child. Marriage at an early age, along with the many births, accounts for the impressive increase in the size of the Haredi population.

Kosher version of Youtube hits Web

By Akiva Novick January 29, 2011

Despite the sweeping rabbinical ban on the Internet, haredi use of the web is widespread. A new website offers the ultra-orthodox sector an alternative to the inappropriate content out there: Glatube.

Swearing off the “U” Word

By Rabbi Avi Shafran Opinion January 30, 2011

The word “ultra,” one dictionary informs me, is Latin for “the far side.” Well, there are certainly days when I feel I have wandered into a Gary Larson cartoon. But most of the time, my life, like the lives of most “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews, is pretty unremarkable.

So, isn’t it time the media, which seem so often to focus on traditionally observant Jews, substituted another term like “haredi”—a nonjudgmental word denoting devotion—for the one they currently favor, which other lexicons define as “excessive,” “immoderate” or “extremist”?

Changing of the haredi guard

By Peggy Cidor January 20, 2011

Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus is going home. Well, not exactly – but according to a rotation agreement signed by his party members (United Torah Judaism), Pindrus clears off in favor of Yossi Deitsch, who will as of next month become the deputy mayor representing the haredi Ashkenazim.

...Meanwhile, city council member Eli Simhayof (Shas) has also been appointed deputy mayor, changing the political equation at Kikar Safra all the more. Simhayof is eager to get things done, partly in order to detract attention from his possible indictment in the Holyland scandal.

Religious mustard and other Hebrew acronyms

By Brian Blum January 25, 2011

In the U.S. and most western countries, Jews tend to identify their religious affiliation through one of the major Jewish movements, be it Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Jewish Renewal, and even Secular Humanistic Judaism.

Not so in Israel, where one’s religious standing is far more nuanced. In a country that loves army-influenced acronyms, a whole school of literary shortcuts and word play have sprung up.

Interview with Gadi Taub

By Michael Weiss January 26, 2011

Q: There’s an ongoing conflict in Israel – you might even call it a civil war – between secularists and the ultra-Orthodox, and not just over settlements or the two-state solution but over endemic issues such as civil marriage. Where do you see Israeli secularism tending in the next decade or so?

Gadi Taub: I would reserve the term civil war for actual use of arms, and I don’t think we’re anywhere near that. But there is a cultural struggle going on, and our bad parliamentary system creates a situation in which a minority can hold the majority hostage.

I don’t believe this can last forever, nor that the Orthodox minority will be able to take over the state and turn it into a theocracy.

Are you sick of being slapped in the face?

VIDEO: Yisrael Hofshit (Be Free Israel)

Click here for VIDEO

Monumental dilemma: Jerusalem rages over statues

By Jonah Mandel December 29, 2010

King David, Winston Churchill and the Japanese Agon Shu Buddhist Association have all been drawn into the raging battle for the face of Jerusalem, in a dispute over statues, traffic circles, idolatry and religious coercion.

David Biale on Jewish secular thought January 24, 2011

David Biale is a historian, and the author of Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought

Q: Is Jewish secularism the winning concept of Zionism and Israel?

David Biale:

Zionism was originally one product of the tradition of Jewish secularism. Given the resurgence of religion in Israel –both national religious and haredi – it would be a mistake to say that it was a “winning concept.” Secularism, which began as a minority tradition contesting the power of the rabbis in Eastern Europe, finds itself once again embattled in the State of Israel. Whether it will win this battle or not remains very much uncertain.

Waving a Banner for altruism

By Sharon Udasin January 27, 2011

For Asaf Banner, helping other people is simply in his genes. Growing up with a mother in social work and school counseling, he just couldn’t help but head in a similar direction after his army service.

...Anxious to explore this “core” of Judaism, Banner and his friends decided in 2004 to start another new organization – Bema’aglei Tzedek – which serves to engage thousands of young Israelis in social change, in the classroom, youth movements and the army.

To the heights of space

By Hannah Brown January 28, 2011

Daniel Cohen’s moving television documentary, An Article of Hope, which will be broadcast on Channel One on Monday at 9:30 p.m., chronicles Ilan Ramon’s final journey and, at the same time, commemorates a special artifact from the Holocaust.

‘Bring me the Jews of Ethiopia’

By Seth J. Frantzman January 27, 2011

Book review: Jewish Exodus from Ethiopia

Edited by Yuval Arnon-Ohanna and Alec Braizblatt | Ariel University and IIHCC

The story of the journey of the Ethiopian Jews from their homes to Israel via Sudan is one of the great Jewish stories. Although it is widely known in certain circles, the actual story never ceases to amaze.

Religious movement SOS Israel: 'Galant affair punishment for Gaza pullout'

By Kobi Nahshoni January 26, 2011

The far right religious movement SOS Israel claims that the land dealings affair involving designated IDF chief Maj.-Gen.Yoav Galant is a punishment from above for his role in the unilateral disengagement from Gaza.

Religion and State in Israel

January 31, 2011 (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.