Monday, April 4, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - April 4, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

April 4, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Sexual abuse case sheds light on Emmanuel’s ethnic tensions

By Jonah Mandel March 31, 2011

VIDEO: “The Horrible Secret of Emmanuel” (Hebrew)

Click here for VIDEO

A sexual abuse case recently made public is shedding some new light on the development of the ethnic tensions that exploded in Emmanuel last year.

Channel 2 reported on Monday that the principal of Emmanuel’s Ashkenazi elementary school for boys, Rabbi Moshe Nussboim, is currently on trial behind closed doors in the Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court on suspicion of sexually abusing three boys from Sephardi families in his school between the years 2002-2008.

The Kfar Saba court is expected to rule on Nussboim’s case in a month.

Haredim study more, work less

By Mickey Peled, Calcalist April 1, 2011

The number of male and female ultra-Orthodox students in study programs designed for the haredi sector has gone up from about 2,000 in 2005 to some 6,000 in 2010, according to a Bank of Israel survey conducted as part of its annual report.

In the academia, the number of haredi men acquiring an academic education grew from several hundred in 2005 to some 2,500 in 2005.

Don't ask what a Haredi can do for his country, help him

By Avirama Golan Opinion March 30, 2011

Approximately 4,000 women complete a Haredi seminar every year. In the best case scenarios, 200 find jobs. The rest are left to fend for themselves in a tough job market that is particularly unforgiving to them.

...The Torah sages must acknowledge that poverty is not tantamount to happiness, and that the reality is changing. They must allow women to leave the seminar and enroll in college, if they wish to do so.

The money is there. It just needs to be allocated toward that goal. This should be done with courage, honesty and wisdom.

Hasidic Rabbi David Twersky: Tsunami result of Haredi arrests March 31, 2011

Rabbi David Twersky, leader of the Rachmastrivka Hasidic dynasty, says the recent tsunami in Japan, which has left thousands of people dead, was the result of the arrest of two yeshiva students by Japanese authorities after being convicted of smuggling drugs.

Haredim hold mass funeral for Jaffa bones

By Kobi Nahshoni March 29, 2011

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men took part Monday in a funeral procession for bones removed from Jaffa's Andromeda Hill, following their failed battle against the evacuation of tombs from the compound and the construction of a hotel.

Experts: Tombs found at Jaffa excavation site not Jewish

By Yair Ettinger and Ilan Lior March 28, 2011

The Israel Antiquities Authority has established that the tombs uncovered in the area of the French Hospital near the Andromeda housing complex in Jaffa are not Jewish.

This was announced after an examination of the site revealed that the burials contained pig bones, allowing archaeologists to conclude that they were not Jewish burials.

Talmud Torah is Equivalent to All - Ultra-Orthodox Education System for Boys in Jerusalem March 27, 2011

This study presents a unique phenomenon in the field of Israeli education – the Haredi education system for boys.

The paper describes a system that has created a meaningful alternative to the regular state education in Israel, employing its own methods and teaching means.

The system has inculcated the Haredi worldview to hundreds of thousands of graduates and achieved meteoric growth over recent decades.

A better understanding of ultra-Orthodox education in Israel March 2011 JIIS Bulletin #4

Today's reality creates a burden for Israel and jeopardizes the future of the state.

"The good news is that this is a much more flexible and dynamic system than its leaders like to admit.
It is appropriate and possible to introduce changes – encouraging initiatives such as reinforcing secular studies, empowering frameworks that train teachers, expanding the possibilities for students facing difficulties and thus drop out, and so on. Provided of course that the Haredi sector's leadership is willing to cooperate."

Number of Haredi college students has tripled since 2005

By Mati Bassok, Nati Tucker March 28, 2011

The main problem is the ultra-Orthodox community's low workforce participation, the report shows: Only 39% of men and 58% of women work. While women are joining the workforce more, there has been little change in the number of Haredi men going to work, states the report.

New lifestyle magazine targets Haredim

By Li-or Averbach March 28, 2011

Haredi publisher Smash Magazines Ltd. will launch the first haredi lifestyle magazine in Israel, "Stylish".

The print run will be 30,000 copies. The investment in "Stylish" is NIS 800,000 for content, design, and targeted distribution in the community. The magazine will have 150 chromo pages.

Culinary fest leaves bad taste in some Jerusalem mouths

By Jonah Mandel April 1, 2011

According to a proprietor who wished to remain anonymous, haredi elements brought soiled, reeking diapers on the first night in a bid to keep people away. Another person involved in the event said that electric cables were cut.

“They did everything they could to get the people away, and damaged the proprietors’ income,” he said, referring to Haredim.

An agreement said to have been reached between police and the local haredi leadership led to the prohibition of alcohol sales in the Jewish quarter during the festival.

In addition, women reportedly were not allowed to sing as part of the live performances, and even the recorded background music was solely of male voices. The municipality would neither confirm nor deny such an understanding.

VIDEO: Old City Flavors Festival

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Jerusalem Taste Festival Stirs Kashrut Controversy

By Maayana Miskin March 28, 2011

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat defended the decision to allow non kosher food at the event.

“Jerusalem is a varied city, with many sectors, I think that is what creates Jerusalem's unity... This festival will promote unity.” Jews, Christians, Muslims and Armenians are all taking part, he added.

IDF Pesach Campaign Under Way April 1, 2011

About a thousand soldiers in the Hesder program, which combines military service with religious studies, have begun an annual campaign to make military kitchens on land and sea kosher for the upcoming Pesach holiday.

Ritual Baths to be Certified March 31, 2011

Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Yonah Metzger announced, on Thursday, the beginning of a program to inspect Israel's more than 1,000 ritual baths (mikvaot) to see if they meet the specifications set forth in Jewish law (Halacha).

Airport halts night flights in wake of landmark court ruling

By Zohar Blumenkrantz April 1, 2011

Although the court ruling made an exception for El Al night flights in the early hours on Fridays to make sure planes don’t have to fly over Shabbat, this week the airline did not schedule any such flights for early this morning.

Court grounds night flights at Ben-Gurion

By Zohar Blumenkrantz March 31, 2011

[Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud)] also gave El Al special permission - even before the renovations started - to take off from 3:50 A.M. on Friday mornings and holiday eves to enable it to avoid flying on Shabbat, and the court ruled this approval applied only in cases where it was necessary to avoid violating the day of rest - but in no other cases.

The plaintiffs had accused the airline of exploiting this loophole for commercial purposes.

El Al to fly at night "in order to observe the Sabbath"

Holon Mayor Motti Sasson, why did it take so long to decide to close the airport at night?

By Merav Michaeli March 31, 2011

Q: What do you think about the permission nonetheless granted to El Al to fly at night "in order to observe the Sabbath"?

Mayor Sasson: Ah, that's an excuse and it's too bad. Let's put it this way, if the judge wasn't Rubenstein, they wouldn't be taking off.
They haven't gotten permission from any minister, no minister ever allowed them, and they haven't got written permission, no documents. But they will have to convince us that they are really observing the Sabbath or a holiday. And if it looks like they're not, we'll sue them.

Rabbis threaten El Al over Saturday flights

By Omer Rabin April 3, 2011

Haredi rabbis and religious El Al passengers are, however, displeased by the solution.

Rabbis on the Committee for the Sabbath who met with El Al VP David Maimon last week now claim that El Al had promised them not to set up a new company to replace Sun D'Or, or to hook up with another airline that desecrates the Sabbath. Both Arkia and Israir fly on Saturdays.

"El Al won't fly Saturdays; Haredim will throw diapers at them"

By Omer Rabin March 28, 2011

What about the possibility that El Al will fly on Saturday?

"At every foreign airline that would be the preferred solution. But it's hard for me to believe that it will happen here.
I have no doubt that we're talking about a solution that would enable El Al to offer more flights at better times, and give customers greater flexibility in planning their trips. It would also help El Al move forward a little on international alliances with airlines, but it's hard to see El Al doing that.
One of my colleagues told me by phone this week, 'They will never fly on Saturday. The haredim (ultra-orthodox) would stand at the takeoff line and throw diapers at them."

El Al flies on Shabbat in Sun D'Or bailout

By Zohar Blumenkrantz April 3, 2011

Three El Al planes and their air staff flew during Shabbat yesterday as part of the arrangement to find a solution for Sun D'Or passengers.

El Al could lease Sun D'Or Saturday flights

By Erez Wollberg March 31, 2011

In a last-ditch effort to prevent the grounding of its charter subsidiary Sun D'Or International Airlines Ltd. on Saturdays, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. may lease Sun D'Or planes to and crews to other airlines, most likely Arkia Airlines Ltd. or Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd.

The idea, which has not yet been approved, could come into effect this weekend.

Summertime is here: Daylight Savings Time activated April 1, 2011

The move to Daylight savings Time in Israel has, since the 1980s been accompanied by disputes between religious factions, hoping to shorten it in order to make it easier on the religious population to get up for prayers during the high holidays and the secular population wishing to improve their quality of living.

See also: Petition Pushes to Extend DST in Israel (Sept. 2010)

High Time

By Shoshana Kordova April 1, 2011

But Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas has expressed little interest in changing the law, which calls for the clocks to fall back just before Yom Kippur every year to make Israelis feel like the fast day ends an hour earlier than it would otherwise—never mind that it also starts an hour earlier.

Yishai said in a statement this week that although both he and the public like Summer Time, the “social characteristics of Israel” must be taken into account. A committee is due to submit its findings on the issue in May.

Tel Aviv Central Train Station Gets Shul March 31, 2011

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wilhelm, the Rebbe's Shliach to Egged and the Transportation Ministry, dedicated a new shul in the central Tel Aviv train station, "Tel Aviv Center- Savidor" yesterday.

'Moishi' to light Independence Day torch

By Itamar Eichner April 3, 2011

Moishe ("Moishi") Holtzberg, the four-year-old boy who lost his parents in the 2008 terror attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai, is expected to light a torch together with his grandfather Shimon Rosenberg at the opening ceremony of Israel's 63rd Independence Day festivities.

Tram at last winds round J'lem complexities

AP March 28, 2011

Before the tracks were laid, builders encountered a religious dilemma: Two Jewish burial plots, believed to date back 2,000 years, were discovered along the tram route.

Tampering with graves at construction sites often ignites the fury of ultra-Orthodox Jews, so the light rail's developers consulted Atra Kadisha, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization that cares for old graves.

Supreme Court to Radio: Air Anti-Abortion Ads

By Hillel Fendel March 28, 2011

Following an appeal to the Supreme Court, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Second TV and Radio Channel Authority have been ordered to air short ads for the Efrat anti-abortion organization.

Thus comes to an end a year-long legal battle over Efrat’s right to have its information disseminated to the public via the public airwaves.

In the past three weeks, two abortion-related legislative bills have been turned down by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

One, by MK Nissim Ze’ev of Shas, would have banned all abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy, and the other, by the aforementioned MK Horowitz of Meretz, called for automatic legalization of all abortions.

At present, a Health Ministry committee must approve all abortion requests. Abortions of pregnancies resulting from incest or rape are automatically approved and are performed for free.

PHOTO Gallery: Next Year in Uman: A Journey to the Ukraine March 25, 2011

Every year, an increasing number of Jews from every walk of life, from all over the world, converge in Uman, a small, unremarkable city in the Central Ukraine.

They spend “Rosh Hashana” united in meditation and prayer, at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov – a spiritual seer of the 17th century who is revered to this day as the one and only leader of the Breslov Chassidic movement.

Rabbi Levanon, Elon Moreh Appointed Samaria Chief Rabbi

By Elad Benari March 31, 2011

Click here for VIDEO

Hevron’s Rabbi, Rabbi Dov Lior, said:

“We are gathered here tonight in honor of the Torah, to appoint Rabbi Elyakim as rabbi of all of Samaria. The role of a rabbi in Israel is different than abroad, where the rabbis are focused on observing Jewish Law. In Israel, the rabbis must also express their opinions on matters relating to public affairs."

Rabbi Lau sends Shalit 'Passover kit'

By Kobi Nahshoni April 3, 2011

Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau last week sent a "Seder kit" to kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas in Gaza for four and a half years.

The package, which includes matzot, wine and a Passover Haggadah, was handed over to the head of the Red Cross delegation to Israel, Juan Pedro Schaerer.

Chief Rabbi Amar to lead mass prayer at Western Wall

By Jonah Mandel April 3, 2011

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar will lead on Monday evening a mass prayer at the Western Wall, in the wake of “the severe situation and the troubles befalling Jews in Israel and world.”

Poll: 46% in favor of 'price tag' March 28, 2011

While most seculars oppose "price tag" activities (36% in favor, 57% against), most traditional, national-religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews believe these actions are justified (55%, 70% and 71%, respectively).

About 76% of the seculars and 66% of the traditional Jews believe the rabbis have the power to prevent the "price tag" activities, while the national-religious and haredim say the rabbis are incapable of doing so. About 40% of religious Jews and 35% of haredim believe rabbis can prevent acts of violence and revenge.

Battle between rabbis in Netivot heads to court

By Tomer Zarchin March 30, 2011

Three individuals associated with a prominent Netivot rabbi, Baruch Abuhatzeira, also known as Baba Baruch, were in court yesterday over allegations that they were involved in circulating posters with religious proclamations in an effort to drive another well-known Netivot rabbi, Yaakov Ifergan, out of town.

Famous Israeli Singer Teaches Music to Religious Students

By Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski March 29, 2011

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Israel National News TV recently visited Mizmor, a unique school of music which has been halakhically, socially and culturally established for members of the religious sector.

“We felt that there is a need for people who want to study music in a professional manner but couldn’t find their place halakhically and socially in other schools,” explained the school's founder and principal, Itzik Weiss.

Galilee Religious Leaders Forum Meets Jewish Students and Faculty at Yeshivat Ma’aleh Gilboa

By Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish, Opinion March 31, 2011

The writer is Director, ICCI

On Monday, March 28th, I participated with about 30 religious leaders from our Galilee Religious Leaders Forum in a unique and important encounter at the yeshivah of the Kibbutz Hadati at Kibbutz Ma’aleh Gilboa, in the beautiful Gilboa mountain range overlooking the Bet Sha’an Valley and the mountains of Gilad in Jordan.

Jerusalem center taking heat for passing over the blind on seder night

By Dana Weiler-Polak April 4, 2011

Organizations representing the blind in Israel were surprised to learn that the blind who have nowhere to celebrate the seder this Passover will not be able to turn to an old Jerusalem standby - The Jewish Institute for the Blind, the largest organization of its kind providing services for the blind.

Knesset Interior Committee Expresses Impatience With Progress On Har Hazeisim March 29, 2011

Members of the committee at the hearing that included Yaakov Edri (Kadima), Nissim Zev (Shas) and Aryeh Eldad (National Union) also recommended that Har Hazeisim be added to the new government initiative to restore, upgrade, and maintain more than a hundred heritage sites in Israel. A budget of NIS 500 million has been allocated for the effort.

Baby Enters Covenant – in Jericho

By Maayana Miskin April 1, 2011

For the first time in many years, a Jewish baby boy entered the Biblical covenant in a brit milah (circumcision) ceremony in the ancient city of Jericho. The ceremony took place in the Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue.

Ethiopia: Group claiming to be Jewish clashes with police

By Ruth Eglash March 30, 2011

The complicated issue of Ethiopian Jewish heritage and eligibility for aliya came to the fore again on Wednesday morning, as thousands of demonstrators clashed with police outside the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa, local media there reported.

“I can confirm that about 80 people were injured in the demonstrations, four were taken to the hospital and all but one person, who is in serious condition, have been sent home,” Asher Seyum, the Jewish Agency representative in Ethiopia, told The Jerusalem Post.

Catholic reps. reiterate Jews’ ‘chosen people’ status

By Jonah Mandel April 1, 2011

A senior Vatican delegation reaffirmed the “chosen” status of the Jews on Thursday, at the end of an annual meeting with representatives of the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem.

The Bilateral Commission of the delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews concluded the three-day meeting Thursday, the theme of which was the challenges of faith and religious leadership in secular society.

Jerusalem bishop appeals Israel’s residency denial March 31, 2011

Jerusalem’s Anglican bishop, a Palestinian, is engaged in a legal battle with Israel over its refusal to extend his residency permit.

An Anglican official, who declined to be named, said Israel’s Interior Ministry had written to Bishop Suheil Dawani and accused him of improper land dealings on behalf of the church and the Palestinian Authority, allegations he denies.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry declined to comment, citing an upcoming court hearing.

Religion and State in Israel

April 4, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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