Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Religion and State in Israel - November 10, 2008 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

November 10, 2008 (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Haredi wars in J'lem play into hands of only secular candidate

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

The Gerrer Hasidic group has thrown its support behind secular candidate Nir Barkat. Though this does not guarantee Barkat victory, it eats away at the backing enjoyed by his rival, ultra-Orthodox candidate Meir Porush.

…In recent days, an unofficial message has been circulating in the Gerrer community to escalate the war of words against Porush and give a boost to Barkat, who is already leading in the polls.

The animosity stems from the Gerrers' belief that Porush offended their rabbi when during his campaign, he drew up a secret plan that ousted them from their central position in the ultra-Orthodox education system. The sect represents the largest ultra-Orthodox stream in the country.

"We're going all the way in the war for the rabbi's honor, and we don't care what the results are or what they think of us in the ultra-Orthodox public," said one of its members.

Not such a close shave

By Shahar Ilan www.haaretz.com November 9, 2008

Porush's rock. In the middle of Begin Road, the Jerusalem version of the Ayalon Highway, there is a large rock that should be dubbed "Porush's rock."

The rock blocks the third lane of the highway northbound. The candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, MK Meir Porush, is proud of this monument that conceals a burial cave whose destruction he prevented.

But he is not willing to take responsibility for removing a lane from the highway.

He says the rock was placed there by residents of the adjacent Beit Hakerem neighborhood, who fought against the highway.

Porush web sites

By Shahar Ilan www.haaretz.com November 9, 2008

Meir Porush has two Web sites.

The home page of the newer one has pictures of secular people who support Porush.

The older site opens with a list of the activities in which Porush has been engaged in the Knesset; among them, more severe punishment for missionaries, a draft bill to prohibit work on Shabbat in kibbutz stores and a draft bill to amend the Chametz Law.

Porush, Barkat vie for decisive national-religious vote in Jerusalem election

By Nadav Shragai www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

Sources from the campaigns of the ultra-Orthodox Meir Porush and the secular Nir Barkat say the national-religious sector could swing the election in either man's favor.

Makor Rishon, a newspaper affiliated with the national-religious right, recently published a letter written 54 years ago by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Hacohen Kook, the head of Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, describing the scorn that Porush's home movement Agudat Israel had for his father, the legendary rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook.

Nat'l-Religious Divided in Mayoral Race

By Hillel Fendel www.israelnationalnews.com November 6, 2008

Rabbi Chaim Druckman announced on Thursday that he supports secular candidate Nir Barkat for mayor, but many others have signed a call in favor of hareidi candidate Meir Porush.

MK Zevulun Orlev, leader of the National Religious Party stated why he himself also plans to vote for Barkat:

"One of my considerations is the identity of Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi," Orlev said, referring to a post that has been vacant for years.

"Will Porush agree to have a Zionist chief rabbi or Zionist rabbis in the various neighborhoods?" Orlev asked.

Left, Right, Left, Right

Peggy Cidor www.jpost.com November 6, 2008

"I don't understand these people," says former Meretz city councillor Anat Hoffman. "What does it matter what this candidate or the other thinks about the political status of Jerusalem?

How does that affect the situation on the ground?

We have a city to clean, young residents to keep here with affordable housing and jobs, an education system to turn into an attractive one, a culture department that urgently needs a director and additional funding, a city that has to become attractive for secular and Zionist residents, and a haredi takeover that must be stemmed - what does that have to do with Barkat's opinions on the status of the Temple Mount?

Does he decide to build a new neighborhood in a crowded Arab area? Of course not!

"But he is honest, he means well, and he is the only one who can liberate this city from the haredi stronghold.

But these people act as if they are blind and deaf and will bring on us five more years of one of the most extremist sectarian mayors possible," she concludes.

Jerusalem's Mayoral Race Reflects the City's Troubled Times

By Linda Gradstein www.washingtonpost.com November 10, 2008

"Jerusalem is in a pivotal place right now," said Anat Hoffman, who recently resigned after 14 years on Jerusalem's city council.
"Economically and culturally it's sinking, and it's become a place that Israelis from outside the city don't even visit."

…In the last election, 80 percent of all eligible ultra-Orthodox voters turned out, compared with 32 percent of all other voters. Porush hopes a similarly high ultra-Orthodox turnout will help him win.

Everyone thinks Jerusalem is lost

By Tom Segev www.haaretz.com Opinion November 10, 2008

[Former Mayor Teddy] Kollek built his relationship with the ultra-Orthodox on three principles.

First, he decided that the needs of the ultra-Orthodox population such as ritual baths (mikvehs), synagogues and religious schools are municipal needs in every way, meaning that the municipality must provide them, just as it provides services to the general population and the secular population in particular.

Kollek's second principle was that there is no symmetry between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular.

Kollek learned the third principle from David Ben-Gurion: It's easier to live with the ultra-Orthodox when they're part of the coalition than when they're sitting in opposition.

…But Lupolianski projects likable weakness; Porush gives off a sense of aggressive determination.

The situation in Jerusalem has been reversed, and now it is the many secular residents who fear for their lifestyle.

Porush has not managed to convince secular people that he will treat them as Kollek treated the ultra-Orthodox.

And so all that's left is to envy those Jerusalemites who have already left the city.

Porush Explains - Another Look at the Recording

By Yechiel Spira www.theyeshivaworld.com November 4, 2008

YWN on Monday night took the time to listen to his original words again, as they were said in Yiddish, and it is clear that Porush stated that in the next 10 or 15 years, it will be difficult to find a “chareidi area without a chareidi mayor”.

Deri Working to Assist Porush Campaign

By Yechiel Spira www.theyeshivaworld.com November 5, 2008

Rabbi Aryeh Deri is working to enlist support for the mayoral campaign of Rabbi Meir Porush.

Deri intended to run in the Jerusalem mayoral race but the courts decided his ‘moral turpitude’ stain does not permit him from reentering the political arena at this time.

Deri is expected to use his expertise to assist Porush in dealing with the secular media, which Porush campaign officials believe are seeking to blemish the candidate.

It's not up to them

By Nadav Shragai www.haaretz.com Opinion November 5, 2008

Porush's Achilles heel is actually on his head: the kippa, and the beard.

Take these away and you get a candidate for whom many non-Orthodox Jerusalemites would vote.

But Porush, especially his worrisome words to an audience of Belz Hasidim (according to which most Israeli mayors will be Haredim in a few years), must convince residents that when he promises to be the mayor of everyone in the city he also means it, and that after the election we will not get an ultra-Orthodox mayor who is beholden to rabbis and to the Haredi parties.

A man for all sectors?

By Avirama Golan www.haaretz.com November 5, 2008

Interview with Meir Porush

"For several years now," he says, "this has been the nature of our ties with the national religious public. One time they help us and another time we help them."

How do you help them?

"What do you mean? After all, they are a public with needs. They need allocations of municipal land to build synagogues and institutes of study.
They want their people to be appointed to rabbinical positions - but not only them."

Boyaner Rebbe Shlita: Vote Porush!

By Yechiel Spira www.theyeshivaworld.com November 10, 2008

The Rebbe’s proclamation joins the growing list of Admorim and Rabbonim Shlita, all instructing their constituents to vote for the only frum mayoral candidate, Rav Porush.

…Nevertheless, the streets of Geula and other frum areas are literally littered with anti-Porush flyers and billboards, seeking to persuade chareidim to boycott him at the polls. This despite calls from Degel and its gedolim as well as many other gedolei torah to vote Porush.

Haredi candidate to bow out of Tel Aviv mayoral race

By Yigal Hai www.haaretz.com November 6, 2008

The chairman of the United Religious Front list in the Tel Aviv municipal elections is expected to withdraw his candidacy for mayor.

Since Rabbi Naftali Lobert's list, consisting of three Orthodox factions, is in the coalition with Mayor Ron Huldai, who is running for reelection, the withdrawal is expected to improve Huldai's chances for win in the first round.

Ra'anana - battle on religious front

www.jpost.com November 9, 2008

The municipal election campaign in Ra'anana is shaping up as a battle between the religious and the non-religious camps, reports www.local.co.il.

The United Religious List says the Meretz party is running an anti-religious campaign which reached its nadir with an offensive Internet video clip, while Meretz says the religious faction plans to change the status quo of the city to make it more religiously stringent.

Knesset swears in first haredi woman

By Amnon Meranda www.ynetnews.com November 4, 2008

"I am creating an important precedent as a woman born and raised in the ultra-Orthodox society who is entering the Knesset on behalf of Meretz, to promote the pluralist values of humanity and human rights – this is an incredible privilege for me."

The new MK [Tzvia Greenfield] was somewhat apprehensive about the way in which other ultra-Orthodox members of the Knesset would react.

"I think it's difficult for them to understand this and to understand me, though I haven't spoken to everyone," she said.

"If they respond with anger, it's mostly because it's difficult for them to believe that people can transcend their own sectarian boundaries."

Who is a haredi?

By Tali Farkash www.ynetnews.com November 7, 2008

The question of "Who is a haredi" once again occupies the ultra-Orthodox public these days.

The swearing-in of Tzvia Greenfield to the Knesset this week as Meretz's sixth MK brought back to life an ancient debate.

The "Tzvia Phenomenon" (there's no other way to put this,) has already baffled quite a few Israeli citizens, haredim and seculars alike.

The incomprehensible combination of a heretical agenda and a God-fearing haredi is hard to digest.

Religious right finally unites, over Jewish identity

By Nadav Shragai www.haaretz.com November 4, 2008

The main religious Zionist parties yesterday announced their merger into a new, unified party, after 27 years of infighting over diplomatic issues.

The new party will no longer espouse Greater Israel as its main cause, the founders said. Instead, it will focus on education and Jewish identity.

…It defines itself as religious Zionist and traditional, and will be open to both religious and secular.

The public committee includes [among others]…Rabbi Yuval Cherlow; Rabbi Haim Druckman; and Dr. Asher Cohen.

Court orders Egged to put up nixed political ad with women portraits

By Etgar Lefkovits www.jpost.com November 10, 2008

The High Court of Justice on Monday ordered Israel's largest bus company to immediately put up a political advertisement on the sides of Jerusalem city buses showing the portraits of women running for the city council.

The company responsible for advertising on Egged buses had refused to put up the ads of the women who are running in Tuesday's municipal election on a joint religious-secular list called "Wake up Jerusalem-Yerushalmim" last month in order not to offend the religious sensitivities of the haredi public.

The bus company has previously said that it was unaware of the decision taken by its advertising agency.

Acting on a petition filed by the group of would-be city councilors, the court admonished both companies, and stressed that such an incident must not reoccur.

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman on conversion and membership issues in the Jewish community

http://hartmaninstitute.wordpress.com November 5, 2008

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute Co-Director, talks about conversion and membership issues in the Jewish community both in the past and today at a forum held for a new magazine, Havruta, produced by the Hartman Institute.

Former chief rabbi Lau appointed chairman of Yad Vashem Council

By Anshel Pfeffer www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

The cabinet yesterday approved the appointment of former Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau as chairman of the Council of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

Rav Lau to Address European Parliament

By Yechiel Spira www.theyeshivaworld.com November 5, 2008

Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau will address a special session of the European Parliament in Brussels addressing 70 years since Kristallnacht.

Rabbi Lau, a child survivor of the Holocaust, invited European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering to the event, requesting he address the alarming increase in hate crimes in Europe, the lack of tolerance and violence directed against foreigners in Europe.

A city of tolerance, not a Museum of Tolerance

By Gershon Baskin www.jpost.com November 9, 2008

Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance on top of the old Muslim cemetery in Mamilla in the heart of west Jerusalem

Many of the historical and Islamic interpretations and other "facts" presented by the Wiesenthal Center are at best contestable, but once again I want to emphasize that this is not a Muslim issue, it is not an Arab issue, it is not a Palestinian issue. In my view, this is a Jewish, an Israeli and a Jerusalemite issue.

I wrote then and I repeat it today: In my view this is not a legal issue - anything can be made legal.

This is a moral issue and an issue concerning the ability of people of the three faiths to live together in this land and in this city.

A center of hope and reason

By Rabbi Marvin Heir www.jpost.com November 9, 2008

Rabbi Hier is the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance.

Muslim scholars and religious leaders have dealt with such issues for centuries, and in seeking to resolve such difficulties ruled that a cemetery not in use for 37 years is considered mundras - an abandoned cemetery that has lost its sanctity.

…While Judaism does not have a mundras concept, Halacha also dictates a sensitive and practical way to deal with such issues.

To suddenly demand that Jews be held to a higher standard than the Muslims hold for themselves is preposterous, dishonest and hypocritical.

God, the collaborative version

By Oded Yaron www.haaretz.com November 4, 2008

But the answer to the question "what is sublime" is precisely what Adler, director of the film "God and I," is trying to discover: the God of each and every one of us - what we feel about him, whether we have felt his presence in our lives and whether we conduct a daily dialogue with him.

The work, which is not yet completed, is being produced in cooperation with Channel 8 and Flix on the Tapuz site, and is supposed to be "the first collaborative film in Israel," as Adler termed it. Meanwhile, the material that has already been produced can be viewed at the film's site on Flix.

It is also possible to participate in making the film by sending Adler a short video about your personal God.

Bringing the funk back to prayer

By Aimee Neistat www.jpost.com November 10, 2008

Habayim Yesharesh-Wiener Minyan synagogue in Tel Aviv

Rabbi Gaddy Zerbib moved his family from France to Tel Aviv in order to serve as the synagogue's rabbi.

Zerbib works for the synagogue on an entirely voluntary basis. For a living, he works as a scriptwriting teacher and script doctor at a film school near Gedera.

He intends to open a film school in Tel Aviv with some talented friends who are also teachers, where students will study Torah as well as the tools of filmmaking.

The rabbi is also a keen musician. He sings and plays the drums and keyboard. Some of his songs were played on Israeli radio about 10 years ago, and he has recently been working with his band, Salanters, on a project that's due to be released soon.

His music is predominantly reggae and funk and his lyrics cover a mixture of biblical themes and Zerbib's "own stuff."

Monks arrested in J'lem church brawl

AP, www.jpost.com November 9, 2008

No turning the other cheek here - Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks brawl at Church of Holy Sepulcher

Click here for VIDEO

Once again, monks come to blows at Church of Holy Sepulcher

AP, Haaretz www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

Click here for VIDEO

Israeli police rushed into one of Christianity's holiest churches Sunday and arrested two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to the site of Jesus' tomb.

The clash broke out between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

…The feud revolves around a demand by the Greek Orthodox to post a monk inside the Edicule - the ancient structure built on what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus - during the Armenian procession.

Greek Orthodox and Armenian Christians Battle It Out Inside Church of Holy Sepulcher

www.infolive.tv November 9, 2008

Click here for VIDEO

On Sunday Greek Orthodox and Armenian Christians clashed in a no-holds-barred brawl in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Israeli police were called to the scene to break up the fight as the clergy members punched, kicked and slammed religious artifacts on one another.

Religion and State in Israel

November 10, 2008 (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Religion and State in Israel - November 10, 2008 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

November 10, 2008 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

New law on property distribution in divorce aims to ease burden of agunot

By Shelly Paz www.jpost.com November 5, 2008

"This law is a true revolution. Not one civilized country in the world grants one of the sides in marriage rights that she or he cannot realize," family law attorney Nurit Fish told The Jerusalem Post.

"This new law removes the sting of get refusal.

Religious leaders still divided over new agunot amendment

By Matthew Wagner www.jpost.com November 6, 2008

Rabbis and religious MKs are split on whether or not pro-feminist legislation aimed at aiding agunot is in accordance with Orthodox Jewish values.

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar was adamantly opposed to the legislation, as were Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs. Even the more moderate National Religious Party and National Union MKs either opposed the legislation or were absent from voting.

The outstanding exception was NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev, who was involved in drafting the amendment to the Financial Relations Law and voted in favor.

Several modern Orthodox rabbis also supported the law, including Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat and Rabbi Yuval Cherlow of the Petah Tikva Hesder Yeshiva.

…"As a rabbi, I have a deep interest in preventing the exploitation of Halacha by the financially strong side during a divorce," said Cherlow. "The amendment achieves this goal."

Cherlow said that he was aware of the chief rabbi's opinion that the amendment might create the halachic problem of “get me'useh”.

"But when I weigh that danger against the benefit that this amendment offers, my conclusion is clear," he said.

Knesset okays property distribution bill

By Amnon Meranda www.ynetnews.com November 5, 2008

"This brings wonderful tidings for society in Israel and women in particular," said MK Menachem Ben-Sasson (Kadima), chairman of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and one of the bill's initiators.

"Today, the Knesset said 'enough' to extortionist methods and to the disgraceful exploitation of the weaker spouse," Ben-Sasson declared.

"The new law will bring an end to unacceptable phenomena and ongoing injustices that have no place in a properly-run state."

According to MK Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad), "This is a Jewish, just and moral law that takes away another tool from the hands of exploitive, get-refusing husbands."

Chareidi MKs Unable to Defeat Property Distribution Bill

By Eliezer Rauchberger http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com November 7, 2008

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said every effort was made to prevent the law regarding asset distribution for couples seeking a divorce from passing, but at the same time he noted that because of the upcoming primaries for the secular parties as well as the general elections campaign, it was very difficult to persuade MKs not to act in a populist manner.

A historic moment for agunot in Israel

By Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman http://blog.elanasztokman.com Opinion November 5, 2008

The Knesset passed the Division of Property law in its third reading today, marking a victory for agunot, and potentially saving thousands of women in Israel.

“This is a real revolution,” says Robin Shames, Director of ICAR, one of the groups that spearheaded the campaign to pass the bill.

“It severely weakens the power of recalcitrant husbands to condition the get on their financial demands.”

The new law, which was introduced in July by MK Michael Melchior, states that the division of property can be conducted irrespective of the get process, removing finances as a leverage in the act of giving a woman her marital freedom.

“This is a huge achievement,” according to Batshever Sherman Shani, lawyer and director of ICAR’s legal committee.

“The correction of the law weakens the ability to trade economic rights for the get, and repairs and thirty year old injustice against women.”

“Thousands of women who have been economically blackmailed by their husbands in exchange for the get,” writes Bambi Sheleg in NRG, “will now be able to achieve their freedom.”

Shai slams Jerusalem for doing little to help host the GA

By Ruthie Blum Leibowitz www.jpost.com November 7, 2008

Nachman Shai, who has spent the past year preparing for this month's United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Jerusalem, has launched a scathing attack on the host city for doing hardly anything to help toward the event.

Next mayor must embrace Diaspora

By Anshel Pfeffer www.haaretz.com Opinion November 7, 2008

But there is still one ray of hope for the beleaguered city. Israelis may have forsaken the holy city but the Jews of the world have not.

…Whatever the outcome of these miserable elections, the conclusion has to be that this cooperation must rise to a much higher, strategic level.

This is an opportunity for the mega-organizations, anxious to recast themselves and worrying about their dwindling prospects in a period of credit-crunching penny-pinching.

Birthright is cutting its budget by $35 million

www.jta.org November 7, 2008

Birthright Israel is cutting its budget by $35 million for 2009.

Birthright, which sends Jews between the ages of 18 and 26 on free 10-day trips to Israel, had a budget of $110 million in the fiscal year that just ended, enabling the organization to send some 42,000 people to Israel.

In the coming year, Birthright will only be able to send 25,000 because the program’s budget is dropping to $75 million, the president and CEO of the Birthright Foundation, Jay Golan, told JTA.

Golan, however, said that Birthright will most likely not be affected by the financial troubles of the company of its largest private benefactor, Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands company. The casino company is on the verge of bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg News.

Adelson gave some $60 million to Birthright Israel in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, he pledged $30 million to the organization to be paid out over the next two years. The money will pay for 6,000 trips, Golan said.

Former IDF spokesman Nachman Shai joins Kadima

By Shahar Ilan and Barak Ravid www.haaretz.com November 4, 2008

Nachman Shai, chairman of the United Jewish Communities, yesterday announced that he was joining Kadima and would run in the party's primaries for the Knesset.

…Shai would be able to contribute to Kadima on issues pertaining to the Jewish world, Zionism and the Diaspora, Livni said.

'Work is not an option'

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com November 5, 2008

"New ways?" said the director of the large Ateret Shlomo network of kollels, Yehuda Arend.

"With us, this isn't called a strategy, it's called suicide. This would like, because you are needy, you take your child and throw him off the roof.

The Jewish people and the world exist because of the Torah, and it is impossible to abandon the Jewish people. Work is not an option."

Economic pressures are forcing haredi men into the working world

By Matthew Wagner www.jpost.com November 7, 2008

"Rabbi Haim Kanyevsky [a Bnei Brak-based spiritual leader] promised that anyone who gives generously to supporting the yeshiva world will not hurt by the financial crisis," added Segal, who said that all the major Israeli rabbis are praying for Jewish donors.

"We discovered just how difficult the decision is for a haredi man to work. They have been taught their whole lives that Torah study is the most important thing that a man can do.

When they finally do decide to leave the yeshiva world, they often have unrealistic expectations. Everyone wants to start in a managerial position, everyone expects to receive a company car and everyone expects to rake in the cash."

As the financial crisis continues, haredim tighten their belts

By Abe Selig www.jpost.com November 6, 2008

Hit hard by the global economic meltdown, members of the haredi world say they're feeling the crunch.

The High Holy Day season - from Rosh Hashana to the end of Succot - is usually a time when large donations arrive from abroad, but the recent holiday season, tainted by the nosedive on Wall Street, proved less than satisfactory.

That, combined with uncertainties over the places of Shas and United Torah Judaism in a future government, has the haredi world low on cash and worried about the future.

Opening a new chapter

By Peggy Cidor www.jpost.com November 10, 2008

Another chapter deals with the city's haredim. "One of the Israeli government's duties is to see that young yeshiva students receive professional training that will allow them to step into the labor market.

This is the only way to avoid the city's ongoing impoverishment and the best way to lower the tension between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular," write Ya'acov Lupo and Nitzan Chen in the chapter dedicated to the city's haredi population.

"This is a crucial moment," add the two researchers, "for if the young generation in haredi society who decide to go to work do not find a supporting hand to facilitate a smooth entry into that world, then this society will close back into itself, and we will lose an extraordinary chance to bring change into the model of surviving only through political pressure."

Economic Crisis Good for Chareidi Advertising

By R. Gil http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com November 7, 2008

"A shekel spent in the chareidi sector is worth more than in the general population because it's more focused and is aimed at a clearly defined target group," says Shay Lachovitzer, CEO of the Afikim Group.

"When clients check the effectiveness of the shekel they notice this comparison, which stands out in greater relief during periods of tighter advertising.

If a new food product is launched, for example, in the chareidi sector advertising and sales promotion will focus on seven cities, compared to the general population, which is in hundreds of different locations.

A maximal effect can be created with a minimal budget.

First Int'l subsidiary aims credit card at ultra-orthodox

By Eran Peer http://www.globes.co.il November 9, 2008

First International Bank of Israel is expanding its activity in the Haredi community through subsidiary Bank Poalei Agudat Israel Ltd.

Bank Poalei Agudat Israel will issue its customers a branded credit card, PAGI Plus, which will offer discounts at businesses areas frequented by Haredim, such as Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and Ashdod.

Bank Poalei Agudat Israel also announced that new customers will receive NIS 1,000 when they open an account at the bank. 

Bank Poalei Agudat Israel CEO Dov Goldfreind said, "PAGI Plus cardholders will be branded as wise consumers with an affinity and commitment as religiously observant."

Lusterless city of gold

By Lior Dattel, Anat Poraz, Shuki Sadeh and Ranit Nachum-Halevi www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

Another population shift [in Jerusalem] is the spread of ultra-Orthodox families into formerly secular areas, a process that sometimes leads to power struggles between the two groups.

In Kiryat Yovel, Beit Hakerem and Malha, for example, veteran secular residents are facing off against ultra-Orthodox newcomers over the construction of religious institutions, like ritual baths.

…Another problem facing the education system stems from the Haredization of the city.

Public secular schools are closing due to a lack of students, and more and more ultra-Orthodox schools are opening in secular neighborhoods - attracting more ultra-Orthodox families.

Slaughterhouses: 'Kashrut costs make exporting fresh chickens uncompetitive'

By Amiram Cohen www.haaretz.com November 10, 2008

Fresh Kosher chickens slaughtered in Israel are too expensive to compete in export markets, says Yuval Oren, the chairman of the Miluot concern, which owns the Miluof slaughterhouse, the country's largest.

Oren says Kashrut supervision costs 80 agorot per chicken, about 3.5% of the total cost. This may not seem too much, but it is enough to hurt the competitiveness of the industry, he says.

The Kosher chicken market overseas is also too small to be worthwhile, said Oren.

Charedi Couple Cancels Wedding Reservation Due To Hechsher Removal, Wins Case

http://hamercaz.com November 9, 2008

An Israeli judge recently ruled that the owners of a Yerushalayim wedding hall had no right to demand money from a Charedi couple that canceled their affair.

The couple had planned a wedding in the hall and were shocked when they were informed, two months before the nuptials that the Rabbanut of Yerushalayim had removed the Mehadrin Hechsher of the hall.

Akiva Returns to Kever Rachel 5769

Click here for VIDEO

http://wejew.com November 9, 2008

Akiva of mysticalpaths.blogspot.com returns to Kever Rachel (the gravesite of the Jewish Matriarch Rachel) in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) just south of Jerusalem on the yartzheit (anniversary of her passing) on the 11th of Cheshvan, 5769 [2008]

See also photos from Kever Rochel on Her Yartzheit

www.theyeshivaworld.com November 9, 2008

All Credits: Yehuda Boltshauser & Co. / YWN Israel

Religion and State in Israel

November 10, 2008 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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