Monday, November 8, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - November 8, 2010 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

November 8, 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.

Yishai: Deal struck with Treasury on yeshiva student stipends

By Roni Sofer November 7, 2010

Interior Minister Eli Yishai revealed Sunday that the issue of funding yeshiva students had been settled between himself and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz even before the state began to discuss the controversial bill.

The ultra-Orthodox website B'Hadrei Hadarim quoted Yishai as saying,

"Our commitment to income assurance is a coalition agreement… a budget agreement. It is not a coalition agreement signed upon entering the government, but rather an agreement between Shas and the Finance Ministry."

Yishai supports stipends for students with one child November 5, 2010

In the meeting, Yishai suggested that students who have a child should be able to benefit from the stipends, just as yeshiva students who have three children. Yishai said that he understands that academic students lead a different lifestyle than those studying at yeshivas.

Rabbi Amar: Distribute stipends equally

By Kobi Nahshoni November 4, 2010

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar met with student representatives Wednesday and said that the yeshiva student bill should be made to apply for students in higher education establishments too. He did not discuss ways to implement his proposal.

Debate over kollel-student stipend goes to 'the sources'

By Jonah Mandel November 1, 2010

“Since the haredi parties are presenting [the question of funding haredi kollel students] as a religious struggle, here is a brief overview that clearly and unequivocally shows that the request for extensive funding of Torah study has no sources in Judaism,” Shmuel Shatach, chairman of Ne’emanei Torah Ve’avodah, wrote to the MKs last week.

Yishai: Assurance of income for university students with children

By Kobi Nahshoni November 4, 2010

Sources in the Shas party said that they understand that criteria comparisons between the university students and yeshiva students would make for an unequal law and so it is "necessary to adapt the law to their character."

They hope that the two sectors will be satisfied and end their battle over government support.

State scholarships for Haredi students support segregation

By Tomer Velmer November 7, 2010

Only haredim who study at colleges that separate between men and women will be eligible for State scholarships, those who choose to study at "regular" universities will be forced to do without them.

The [Education] ministry confirmed that the ad was published on its behalf. The Hiddush organization for religious freedom and equality came out against the discrimination. The organization's CEO Uri Regev said, "It's unclear who empowered the ministry as the modesty watch."

Student leader: Amar favors more Haredim in workforce, army

By Ben Hartman November 4, 2010

[Student Union Head Itzik] Shmueli said the rabbis and the students saw eye-to-eye on the need for more haredim to enter the workforce and equality in government stipends for all sectors.

Shmueli added that the student protest, “is not against the haredim or the yeshiva students, it is merely in favor of equality and the greater incorporation of the religious public into the workforce.”

Police refuse permit for secular student protest in Bnei Brak November 2, 2010

Police have banned secular university students from protesting in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, days after allowing right-wing Jewish extremists to demonstrate in an Arab town, Channel 10 reported Tuesday.

The students are right

Haaretz Editorial November 3, 2010

Israeli university students are criticized for never demonstrating, as long as their tuition isn't raised. But their current protest, about their conditions of study as compared with yeshiva students, is absolutely justified.

10,000 protest in Jerusalem against yeshiva bill

By Ben Hartman and Melanie Lidman November 1, 2010

According to the Ministry of Education, the number of yeshiva students getting stipends has quadrupled in the past four years, from 2650 in 1986 to more than 11,000 in 2009.

Thousands protest against yeshiva student bill November 1, 2010

Also Sunday, some 200 students of the Haredi College of Jerusalem and the Ono Academic College's haredi branch held a counter-demonstration in support of the yeshiva funding bill outside their joint campus.

The haredim protested against what they described as "student incitement" against the ultra-Orthodox public.

Haredim enraged by secular ‘days of incitement’

By Jonah Mandel November 3, 2010

The welling public debate over such issues as the funding of kollel students and the duty to serve in the IDF have created the feeling among the haredi population that secular Israeli society is unjustly seeking to besmirch the ultra-Orthodox.

Banners on haredi websites declaring these as “days of incitement” against haredim are prevalent, and the sector’s most eloquent speakers and writers are passionately making the case for their community.

PHOTO Gallery: Student Demonstration against Yeshiva student subsidies

Click here for PHOTO Gallery November 1, 2010

Amid student protest, gov't moves to tax college scholarships

By Jonathan Lis and Yair Ettinger November 1, 2010

Scholarships awarded to university and college students will be subject to government taxation, a clause of the Economic Arrangements Bill was revealed as stating on Monday, amid recent student protests against the resumption in allowances to full-time yeshiva students.

Israeli Students Rally Against Stipends for Ultra-Orthodox

By Kalindi O’Brien November 2, 2010

Yair Sheleg, writing in an opinion piece in the Ha’aretz daily yesterday, urged the prime minister not to surrender to haredi demands. The government has pared back financial aid to the ultra-Orthodox in the past and should continue in the same direction, he said.

“It is enough to express Israel’s unique nature as a Jewish state and the recognition of Torah study as a Jewish value by granting stipends to a few hundred truly gifted students (not only Haredim, but religious Zionists and even secular students) and not to tens of thousands of people that the Haredi establishment wants to keep dependent on it,” Sheleg wrote.

Haredim and Mainstream Israelis Alike Must Rethink Their Roles

By Rabbi Donniel Hartman Opinion November 5, 2010

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem

Up until now Israelis abdicated much authority on social issues to the haredim for the sake of votes on foreign policy and the budget. Israelis must take responsibility for the nature of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The haredim are now sitting at the table; it is time for the real conversation to begin.

Netanyahu has no right to succumb to ultra-Orthodox

By Yair Sheleg Opinion November 1, 2010

Ultra-Orthodox wheeler-dealers must not think the Israeli public very intelligent. If they thought otherwise, they would not dare raise the demagogic argument that people who support canceling special benefits for yeshiva students want to condemn thousands of families to starvation.

After all, there are other ways than state support for parents to prevent their children from starving − going to work, and only if that fails, seeking help.

College students burn tires to protest funds for Torah study

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring November 1, 2010

“Although the Hebrew University does all it can to make things easier for students through stipends and grants, most of our students fund their studies themselves. The government should support learning and knowledge, and no one is more deserving of this support than our students.”

IDF commanders to get 'Haredi glossary'

By Hanan Greenberg October 28, 2010

A new 18-page booklet issued by the IDF includes a long list of religious and haredi terms that will help commanders interact with growing numbers of ultra-Orthodox Israelis joining the army.

In recent years, the IDF recruited hundreds of haredim, in what appears to mark the beginning of a revolution.

Haredim to join Home Front Command

By Yossi Yehoshua November 2, 2010

How do you say Home Front Command in Yiddish? How do you give Kosher instructions?

There is a solution: The Home Front Command has decided to enlist members of the haredi community to join its ranks.

The first draft of the Orange Window program, recently approved by Home Front Command chief Major-General Yair Golan, began this week. Through the program, haredim will be enlisted in the Home Front Command as instructors within their community.

...The gap exists because of the fact that most members of the haredi community don't own a television or surf the web and female instructors can't instruct the male members of the community.

IDF Rabbis Display Technology for Solving Problems of Jewish Law

By Yoni Kempinski November 3 2010

Click here for VIDEO interview with Rabbi Peretz

The IDF Rabbinate, led by recently appointed Rabbi Rafi Peretz, held a special conference and exhibit in the IDF Tzrifin base Tuesday on Halacha and Technology in the Army.

The conference dealt with the latest technological developments that can solve problems involving mainly the desecrating of the Shabbat in order to carry out actions and assignments which aren't directly related to the overall mission of saving lives, which overrides violating the Day of Rest.

The Warrior Rabbi

By Aryeh Tepper November 5, 2010

As the first chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and later the third chief rabbi of the state of Israel, Shlomo Goren issued several innovative halakhic rulings dealing with military life and composed the first code of Jewish military law since Maimonides. In so doing, he brought the Jewish conception of war into the modern era.

Haredim moving from yeshiva to high-tech, through the army

By Ido Solomon November 4, 2010

So far some 500 ultra-Orthodox soldiers have enlisted in a project called Shahar - the Hebrew acronym for "service for Haredim." All the soldiers are 22 or above and 70% are married. Half have children.

...Other costs go for adapting the army experience for the Haredim, such as food with stricter kashrut supervision, which costs twice as much. Also, the Haredim spend a shorter time in compulsory service and more time in the higher-paying professional army.

Ministers approve bill against draft-dodgers

By Roni Sofer November 1, 2010

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Monday a bill toughening conditions for exempting religious girls from mandatory IDF service, but ultra-Orthodox ministers are opposing the legislation.

The bill, proposed by MKs Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu), Israel Hasson (Kadima), and Miri Regev (Likud), stipulates that any girl who claims she is religious with the aim of being exempt from military service must have the proper documentation to assert her claim – namely a certificate from a religious school.

'Immodest dress is a problem'

By Haim Bior November 4, 2010

He also says he has no problem integrating into a workplace where most workers are non-religious: "I am a Chabadnik and have no problem to connect to nonreligious [people]," he says.

But the bold dress of some women at work bothers him.

Haredi programmers make a fraction of nonreligious peers' salaries

By Tali Heruti-Sover November 4, 2010

A glance at the tables comparing salaries of ultra-Orthodox high-tech workers to those earned by nonreligious colleagues is enough to elicit protest from anyone with even the slightest inkling of social justice. In reality, though, the situation is much more complex than it initially appears.

Writing commands, keeping commandments

By Guy Grimland November 4, 2010

You could count the number of startups founded by Haredim in Israel on one hand. Nor do many Haredim invest in high-tech. Why doesn't the technology industry, with its tens of thousands of workers, have more ultra-Orthodox?

Gov’t offers new incentives to promote haredi, Arab jobs

By Jonah Mandel November 1, 2010

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry announced on Sunday a new initiative to promote employment, primarily in the Arab and haredi sectors.

Under the new plan, the ministry’s investment center will allocate NIS 100 million to help an estimated 2,200 people join the work force, with 1,300 of those targeted to be Arabs and haredim. The track will offer the money as incentives to employers, who will receive NIS 1,000 a month over 30 months for each new employee who meets to ministry’s criteria

Haredi populace set to reach 1 million by 2022, study shows

By Jonah Mandel November 1, 2010

The Haredi population in Israel is expected to double in size within 23 years and reach 1,018,535 members in the year 2022 from the 545,000 accounted for in 1999, president of the Geocartography Research Institute Professor Avi Degani said on Sunday.

Struggling Over Subsidies That Undo Modernity

By J.J. Goldberg November 3, 2010

The numbers tell the story. According to recent studies cited in the right-leaning Jerusalem Post, fully 65% of adult Haredi men are registered as full-time yeshiva students and don’t work for a living — up from 20% in 1980, when the stipends were introduced.

In some families the wives work, but most live on a basket of government welfare stipends, child allowances and direct grants to yeshivas. More than 50% of Haredim live below the poverty line.

Haredim under attack

By Menachem Gsheid Opinion November 1, 2010

The ugly, wretched Israeli hypocrisy was fully exposed this past week. The all-out assault against the haredi community in wake of the income supplement law for yeshiva students crossed every red line.

56% of Haredim live in poverty

By Zvi Zrahiya November 7, 2010

Some 56% of the country's Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) citizens live under the poverty line, and Haredim make up 20% of the country's poor, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has found. Yet they constitute only 10% of the population.

87% of seculars: We won't live in haredi building November 3, 2010

"Would you purchase an apartment located in a building populated by a majority of ultra-Orthodox families?" Forty-five percent said "definitely not", 32% replied "probably not", 17% answered they would do it only if there are enough secular or religious nationalists living in the neighborhood, and 6% responded "definitely yes".

Suspected pedophile arrested in Jerusalem

By Nir Hasson November 4, 2010

The police suspect that the ultra-Orthodox community in which the resident lived knew of the alleged incidents but chose not to report them to the police or authorities.

Instead, they urged the man to relocate to another neighborhood.

Ultra-Orthodox report: Haredi bid to take over neighborhoods

By Yossi Nissan November 4, 2010

"Ladaat" correspondent Yeruham Shmuelvich says that the haredim are no longer concealing their plans, and that posters were hung at synagogues in centers of haredi communities, calling on haredim to register for projects being organized "to secretly buy apartments".

The backers are organizing haredi buyers groups to buy apartments in secular neighborhoods in central Israel. The posters assert that haredim will try to take over the neighborhoods by buying apartments through secular middlemen, who will then resell them to haredim.

Arab Ex-Con Would-be Convert's Miraculous Story

Click here for VIDEO interview (Hebrew)

By Hillel Fendel November 1, 2010

As more details on the story of an Palestinian Authority Arab ex-con on his way to converting to Judaism are revealed, the more astonishing it becomes.

Yaniv Ben-David, an Arab from the PA territories and Haifa whose official name until recently was Busmon Abu-Ras, found Judaism and G-d while serving a 12-year term in prison.

Shameful dereliction at the Mt. of Olives Cemetery Editorial November 6, 2010

It’s a sad testament to an even sadder state of affairs that Diaspora Jews are feeling obliged to take action to preserve the Mount of Olives Cemetery, while successive Israeli governments have allowed lawlessness, vandalism and neglect to reign there.

The Rabin Assassination, 15 yrs later - At the hands of a skullcap-wearer

By Sahara Blau November 5, 2010 [article begins half-way down]

[T]he Rabin assassination served as a catalyst for the schisms that had already begun within religious Zionism.

The crisis was severe, and led to two opposing processes within the national-religious public: On the one hand, the Zionist Haredim...On the other hand you had the more liberal national-religious...

And then three bullets were fired in the square and everything came to a halt.

Israel funds courses on ties between Jewish law and science

By Or Kashti November 5, 2010

The Science and Technology Ministry is continuing to fund enrichment courses for the general public on the relationship between science and Jewish law, according to a tender published last week inviting groups to apply for grants. The tender stipulates that bodies applying for the funding must be those dealing with "halakhic-scientific research" and in finding "technological-halakhic solutions."

Issues raised in the classes included the use of electricity on Shabbat, the place of astronomy in halakha and continuing education for rabbis on the issue of clinical death and transplants.

Supreme Court ruling allows Jews-only housing in Jaffa neighborhood

By Noah Kosharek November 7, 2010

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Sunday opposing the leasing of land in Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood for the exclusive use of members of the religious Zionist community.

Haredim petition High Court over Jaffa construction

By Jonah Mandel November 7, 2010

The Eda Haredit organization has asked the High Court of Justice to halt the construction work on Jaffa’s Andromeda Hill development.

Three members of the ultra- Orthodox group, which recognizes neither the State of Israel nor its legal establishment, on Thursday filed a petition to the court...

New bill: Work on Shabbat? Get 350% pay

By Roni Sofer November 5, 2010

A private bill calling to raise workers' salary by 350% on Saturdays was presented by Knesset members on Monday in attempt to prevent working on Shabbat.

The bill proposes fighting the growing phenomenon of employees being forced to work Saturdays against their will. "Due to the Hours of Work and Rest Law we are noticing a lot of businesses opening their doors on Shabbat.

Shas MK Amsalem: Talk of me forming new party is ‘speculation’

By Jonah Mandel November 7, 2010

Shas MK Haim Amsalem responded on Friday to the speculation in Ma’ariv, according to which he is preparing the ground to form a new party to compete with Shas for the votes of religiously committed Sephardim.

Veteran political commentator Yerushalmi drew up the lines for Amsalem's projected new party, which would promote haredi employment and army service, all from a halachically committed standpoint.

Are Jews allowed to walk on the Temple Mount?

By Rabbi Shlomo Brody November 7, 2010

Following the Six Day War, the Orthodox rabbinate promulgated a ban on Jews ascending the Temple Mount.

This decision, along with the continued effective control of the site by the Muslim Wakf, has severely limited Jewish civilian presence to the point that many Jews and non-Jews mistakenly ignore its significance to Judaism.

The recent attempt to rectify this misconception by organizing group visits to the Mount has ignited a passionate legal debate.

Religion and State in Israel

November 8, 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.