Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - March 12, 2012 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

By Hila Weisberg www.haaretz.com March 7, 2012

Employment among ultra-Orthodox men has increased by 7% in the past two years, according to the Bank of Israel.

In 2011, 45% of Haredi men had jobs, compared with 38% in 2009, according to the central bank's research department, which processed raw data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

www.ujafedny.org March 6, 2012

The glue of Israeli society, the experience shared by most men and women over the age of 18, is service in the army. And yet, until recently, a growing slice of Israel’s population hasn’t been part of that experience.

Haredi men in the Shachar program train for a combat support corps specializing in teleprocessing and communications.

It is a tradition rooted early in the state of Israel’s history for Haredi men to continue yeshiva study rather than serve in the army, but in recent years, a program called Shachar has been working with both the army and interested members of the Haredi community to enable these men to serve in a way that is conducive to their religious and familial obligations.

By Nadav Shemer and Alisa Odenheimer www.jpost.com March 6, 2012

Despite the rapid increase in the employment rate of haredi men, their participation in the business sector is still relatively low compared to other Jews, the report said. 

Haredi employees work fewer hours than other Jews, which reduces their wages and makes it more difficult to lift their households above the poverty line, it said.

By Guy Katsovich www.globes.co.il March 6, 2012

Analysis of changes in employment patterns of haredim are complicated by the difficulty in defining the haredi community in official figures and surveys.

A haredi household is defined as one in which a person studied or studies in a yeshiva. The problem is exacerbated because in response to pressure to encourage haredi men to work, some men are seeking a higher education at an institution that is not yeshiva.

By Ran Rimon www.ynetnews.com March 10, 2012

The Bank of Israel stated that the figures might be inflated due to the identification method of haredi households used by the survey.

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion www.haaretz.com March 9, 2012

In the late 1990s, then-Finance Minister Avraham Shochat tried to pass a law in the Knesset taxing large inheritances. The bill was opposed by many of Israel's rich, and that was understandable.
But one day, Shochat received a phone call from a United Torah Judaism MK, who told him, "We opposed it, too."

"What do you have to do with inheritances?" the surprised Shochat asked. "After all, you represent people who have a hard time making ends meet, and they certainly don't have millions."
The MK responded: "In our circles, it's accepted practice for the parents to give every young married couple an apartment."

"How's that possible?" Shochat shouted. "After all, you have eight children on average. Where does all the money come from?" "Don't ask about what is beyond your comprehension," said the religious MK, undoubtedly with a smile on his face. The tax was not imposed.

By Gideon Vennor www.jewishagency.org March 1, 2012

We believe that the majority of Beit Shemesh residents are moderates, wishing to live peacefully side by side. 

Indeed, many – including a significant number of Haredim – see value in living in a heterogeneous community. 

The willingness of the moderate majority to act in various ways to advance a vision of a city that is home to all its communities is an important key to the flourishing of the city.

By Alisa Coleman Opinion http://blogs.timesofisrael.com March 11, 2012

A few years ago I began to notice female faces being blurred out of advertisements in magazines.  
I thought it was crazy, but I did nothing about it.   I am sure many others had the same reaction but did nothing.

Now we have reached a situation where women are not even in posters, women are pushed to the back of buses and it has even become the norm that women are screamed or spat at because of how they are dressed.

We have all been bothered by many things for a long time, but no one has done anything about it.

By Tali Farkash www.ynetnews.com March 10, 2012

Deep inside haredi society, a secret sub-community of unknown size leads a double life, its members facing complex, sometimes insurmountable dilemmas.

Some fear losing the family they have built. Others are concerned about how the family they were born into would react.

Others yet fear losing the jobs they hold in the haredi sector, dreading the meager prospects they might face in the outside world. Many lack the education and Western life skills. Most don't speak English, and some speak nothing but Yiddish.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com March 9, 2012

[Purim] A third hotline reported that Shas spiritual leader Rabb iOvadia Yosef announced he has wronged MK Chaim Amsellem by removing him from the party, and invited him to rejoin its ranks. The decision supposedly was based on a dream he dreamt.

Amsellem, who collaborated with the jokers, went on the air to declare his rejection of the invitation, calling the faction "corrupt."

By Shay Fogelman www.haaretz.com March 9, 2012

Lev Tahor came into being in the mid-1980s in Jerusalem. In the early 1990s it followed Rabbi Helbrans to the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and from there to the town of Monsey, upstate in Rockland County. About a decade ago, the community settled permanently in the Canadian town of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.

Throughout this time, the name of the community – and especially that of its leader – was associated with various scandals, including some that reached the courts or were the subject of police investigations in the United States and Israel.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com March 12, 2012

Prominent haredi rabbis, Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman and Chaim Kanievsky, have instructed their pupils living in the south, who have been away over the weekend, to not return home until the escalating situation finally calms down.

In response to the many questions they received in recent days, both rabbis reached the same conclusion on Sunday: Until the danger passes, the situation in the south falls under the Jewish principle of "life-saving," therefore they must avoid the dangerous location.  

By Ilana Curiel www.ynetnews.com March 7, 2012

Efrat Daniel, an 18-year-old from Dimona, has been sitting at home for the past three months instead of going to the Shalhevet HaDarom High School in the city. 

The reason: The institution has declared that Efrat's decision to work at a fast food chain alongside members of the opposite sex is against the school code.

The school blames the student's parents for not committing to the school's modesty code and for showing disdain for the situation. 

The student claims that her return to school was tied to a condition – that she attend a seminar for girls after graduation, something which would prevent her from going to national service.

Rabbi Ratzon Arusi, a member of the Chief Rabbinate and Rabbi of the city of Kiryat Ono, said on Tuesday that a law prohibiting the courts to discuss issues related to the sanctity of the people of Israel should be enacted. 

His remarks came after the family court in Tel Aviv deciced to recognize a lesbian couple as mothers of a child.

By Chaim Levinson and Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com March 11, 2012

The most divisive issue pertains to the national religious community's attitude toward the State of Israel, and the concept of mamlachtiyut, which refers to nonpartisan patriotism and selfless commitment to the state.

Pupils of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook are locked in a debate about when it is permissible to reject the bonds of mamlachtiyut, and adopt a different, rebellious attitude toward the State of Israel.

By Yair Ettinger and Zafrir Rinat www.haaretz.com March 8, 2012

Rabbi Haim Druckman, a leading religious-Zionist rabbi who until last month headed the Conversion Authority, and Azaria Alon, one of Israel's earliest environmental activists, are the winners of this year's Israel Prize for lifetime achievement, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar announced yesterday.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 8, 2012

Rabbi Haim Druckman, dean of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, chairman of Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and a leading figure in the national-religious community, will be awarded the Israel Prize for contributions to education and society, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Wednesday.

Druckman, who also served as director of the State Conversion Authority from 1990 until February of this year, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for special contribution to state and society.

By Orly Vilnai www.haaretz.com March 8, 2012

The Israel Prison Service plans to test a treatment program for prisoners convicted of political corruption, according to the head of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority, the statutory body that helps set standards for prisoner releases.

The PRA requested that such a program be instituted following the statements made by former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri after his early release from prison last week.

"If Shlomo Benizri had been any other prisoner, he would have been returned to prison or at least warned after making such comments," said PRA director Dr. Haim Iluz-Ayalon.

By Rony Schneider Opinion www.haaretz.com March 13, 2012

And now Shlomo Benizri, the former minister and Knesset member who swore on the Bible to remain faithful to the State of Israel and its laws, the man who was convicted by the Jerusalem District Court and whose conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court, has no sooner been released from his prison cell than he began to lash out.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com March 11, 2012

The Tel Aviv Bnei Akiva branch is offering its members a "kosher" alternative to the city's many extravagant Purim parties.

...The branch will therefore be transformed into a trendy nightclub with a D.J playing every type of music all provided by a professional production company. However no alcohol will be served and dancing will remain separate for boys and girls.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 9, 2012

Religious Students at the National School for Engineers in Haifa succeeded in getting a lesson postponed, originally scheduled at a time that would have prevented them from hearing the Megillah reading for the Purim holiday.

According to the national-religious Kipa news website, the institute’s administration initially refused to cancel the lesson, despite the student’s protestations.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com March 11, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently conveyed a message to Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran saying he supports his decision not to sing the national anthem at the judges' swearing-in ceremony about two weeks ago, Haaretz has learned.
See also: CARTOON

By Nirit Anderman www.haaretz.com March 8, 2012

An Israeli short film by Amos Gitai is to be part of an international project in which 10 leading directors will make movies about religion.

The Israeli movie, called "Book of Amos," is now being shot in Tel Aviv.

By Gil Shefler www.jpost.com March 13, 2012

Israeli politicians seeking election are used to wooing rabbis and other religious leaders asking for their blessing and – more importantly – for the support of their followers at the ballot box.

But in France – where the separation of state and church is sacrosanct – such instances are rare. Which is why the meeting on March 2 between would-be French parliamentarian Valerie Hoffenberg and Rabbi Yaakov Ifargan, an influential mystic from Netivot with a large following among French Jews, was unusual.

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.
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