Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - March 19, 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 Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com March 15, 2012

A well-known Jerusalem restaurant in Rehavia has found itself in the middle of the latest storm involving discrimination against women, after the organization providing the restaurant’s kosher certification threatened to withhold it unless the restaurant stops employing female waitresses on Thursday nights.

City Councillor Rachel Azaria, a prominent activist for women’s rights in Jerusalem, said the request from the Badatz set a dangerous precedent and that other restaurants could soon find themselves facing similar requests.

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com March 14, 2012

According to the owner, Haim Safrin, zealots, "who are jealous of the place's success," pressured the kashrut supervisors of the strict Agudat Israel high religious court, known as the Badatz, to stop waitresses from working on Thursday nights.

Safrin, who says he has many non-religious and non-Jewish patrons, says the Badatz's instruction is not the end of the matter and he wants to find a compromise. "At most, we can move shifts," he said.

By Dr. Michael Marmur http://elearning.huc.edu March 8, 2012

In honor of International Women’s Day and Purim, a group of about 200 people congregated in Ben Yehuda to hear women read the Megilla (it’s the day before Purim in Jerusalem).

The Megillah was read by a group of women including Rabbi Ada Zavidov of Har El Congregation, Rabbi Ma’ayan Turner, and Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean of HUC-JIR in Jerusalem, among other Jerusalem women. Men attending were asked to come dressed as women, and some of us obliged.

By Roni Shub Opinion www.haaretz.com March 19, 2012

In recent times, those good-hearted people who are prepared to risk their lives in order to save the Haredi women from themselves, are growing in number.

They explain to them, slowly, that it is most desirable for them to be insulted by their being erased from billboard advertisements, express surprise that they are determined to agree to dictates from spiritual leaders, and are amazed that the poor creatures refuse to admit their wretchedness.

By Tomer Velmer www.ynetnews.com March 19, 2012

For the first time the Education Ministry is set to recognize haredi seminary final exams as Bagrut matriculation exams in every way. 

This means that any young woman who graduates from the independent education system’s haredi seminaries to become integrated in higher education institutions.

The decision is set to come into effect retroactively for any woman who has taken the exams in the last decade.

By Ben Hartman www.jpost.com March 14, 2012

Recognition of an alternative test taken by haredi women as a bagrut matriculation exam will help them enter the workforce and Israeli institutes of higher education, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said on Thursday.

Shahar Ilan, the vice president of research and information for Hiddush:
“We’re in favor of finding a matriculation exam that respects their beliefs,” he said, but added that the Szold exam was formed in order to prevent haredi women from receiving the education and work preparation they need, and the decision made by the Education Ministry will now put an official stamp of approval on that system.

By Robbie Gringras http://makomisrael.org March 15, 2012

When Makom was faced with the challenge of creating and running a 5-hour symposium on “Haredim and the Jewish Collective” for the Global Jewish Forum of the Jewish Agency, we wanted to avoid throwing oil on the already blazing fire.

We also wanted to bring all the participants into a deeper more honest and informed understanding of the situation.

For example, all the above facts are most certainly the presenting edge of the issue, but they risk offering a snap-shot as a trend, a two-dimensional picture as the deep reality. How might we help everyone reach, as Yonatan Ariel puts it, “a higher level of confusion”?

Add to that a mostly non-Haredi audience carrying a little bit of natural prejudice, a smidgen of hurt pride, and a genuine concern that Israel may not end up looking anything like a Western paradise, and we knew to expect a loaded atmosphere for the latest Global Jewish Forum.

By Tzipi Malchov www.ynetnews.com March 15, 2012

The haredim are pushing forward an initiative to establish a market that will serve as an alternative to the Machne Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. The reason – events held at Machne Yehuda include women's singing. A suitable location was found a few days ago, a 10 dunam area between Sanhedria and Mount Hotzvim.

The initiative to establish the alternative market was launched a few months ago. The haredim declared war on the market over the Balabasta Festival, an event that includes live performances between the market stalls. The haredim's main claim was that the festivals include women's singing and are a source of "immorality that harms our children's education."

The faithful employees [May require free registration]
By Tobias Buck www.ft.com March 14, 2012

The call-centre belongs to Cal, one of Israel’s largest credit card companies. What makes it unusual is that it only employs members of the country’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

… Mr Efrat says that opening the facility in Modiin Illit in 2007 was a “risk” that few companies at the time were willing to take. Many of the rules that govern Haredi life are hard to follow in the workplace, not least the demand for a strict separation between the sexes.

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com March 15, 2012

Tens of thousands of people attended the funeral on Wednesday of the long-time leader of the Vizhnitz Hasidim, whose death is likely to set off a split in Israel's second-largest Hasidic sect.

By Shay Fogelman www.haaretz.com March 16, 2012
The main inspiration for Helbrans’ doctrine as presented in “Path of Salvation” is drawn from the book that is a keystone for all the most extreme Hasidic sects – “Vayoel Moshe” by the previous Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum.

...Helbrans, like the Satmar Rebbe, has chosen an interpretation that is vehemently opposed to the existence of the State of Israel.
Lev Tahor Hasidim strive to avoid any contact with the State of Israel and its authorities.

By Rene H. Levy www.timesofisrael.com March 18, 2012

The experience of the last few months suggests that the new generation of Israeli and Diaspora Jews requires more emphasis and focus on the notion of Jewish peoplehood. Jewish peoplehood is unique because it is based on the concept of arevut, or mutual responsibility, which transcends individual allegiances to specific groups, whatever the label.

By Talila Nesher www.haaretz.com March 14, 2012

A class in "Marital Communications" was held Tuesday in Bar-Ilan University's Midrasha, an advanced Torah study program for women. The course has an unusual prerequisite: It is meant only for women who have been married for at least one year.

"Bar-Ilan seems to be confused," said the executive director of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, Yizhar Hess. "They forget that a university class isn't a Bnei Akiva [religious youth movement] activity, and that academia isn't an ulpana [religious high school].

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 17, 2012

Two students at a West Bank yeshiva have accused a counselor of sexual abuse. The counselor is also suspected of possibly carrying out similar acts against students at a separate institution where he also taught.

www.ynetnews.com March 13, 2012

The committee in charge of approving domain names which might be offensive, has voted this week to okay a new domain: "Yahweh.co.il." The decision was first reported by Tomer Persico on his blog "Minim."

Committee members Michael Birnhack and retired judge Boaz Okon agreed there was no reason to prohibit the possibly offensive domain name, whereas Committee Chairman Hank Nussbacher and author Yochi Brandes objected.

By Liron Naglar-Cohen www.ynetnews.com March 15, 2012
Odeleya Berlin, daughter of famous traditional clarinet klezmer musician Moussa Berlin, has recorded her own record – "Shvil Shel Or" (Path of Light).

But Berlin is no ordinary musician. She is a religious woman and therefore only performs in front of other women, as the halacha instructs. But at the same time, her album is intended to be played on all Israeli radio stations, as she wishes to reach maximal exposure, free of gender segregation.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 20, 2012

Friends and associates of Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, who was murdered with two of his children on Monday morning as well as 8-year old Miriam Monsonego, spoke of his warm, friendly and generous character and praised him for his commitment to his students and their education.

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich www.jpost.com March 15, 2012

A 24-year-old Jerusalem inventor and biomedical engineering student will soon market the first tracking device that informs would-be elevator users in their rooms or apartments when it will reach their floor.

By Nathan Jeffay www.forward.com March 4, 2012

It was a new campaign by Be Free Israel, a not-for-profit organization that promotes pluralism, that prompted the council to bring the issue to a vote. 

“There’s a very big discourse about the ‘status quo,’ but the status quo changes almost every day,” said the organization’s director, Mickey Gitzin.
Buoyed by the response in Tel Aviv, the group is now rolling out its campaign nationally.

By Talila Nesher www.haaretz.com March 19, 2012

The Council for Higher Education in Israel has ordered Bar-Ilan University to stop registering students for its graduate Talmud program, saying the university did not seek the necessary approval before opening the new program.

By Revital Blumenfeld www.haaretz.com March 14, 2012

A Chabad rabbi who was serving the tiny ancient Jewish community in Cochin, India, and his wife were expelled to Israel yesterday for allegedly engaging in illegal activities.

http://t-j.org.il March 14, 2012

In recent months there has been a campaign by a number of Israeli right-wing groups and individuals, including Knesset members, to force the issue of Jewish access to the Temple Mount.

By Ed Rettig Opinion http://blogs.timesofisrael.com March 12, 2012

First, as Weil points out, the determination of the Jewishness of Ethiopians by two chief rabbis is still not fully accepted by ultra-Orthodox rabbis, some of whom place obstacles in the path of their marriages.

Second, while service in the IDF is an effective vehicle for integration, most Ethiopian women decline to serve, citing their religious Orthodoxy. As a result, they forgo an important opportunity to gain skills and education.

By Shirly Sasson Ezer www.ynetnews.com March 13, 2012

Five foundations representing Christian communities in Israel have petitioned the High Court of Justice to implement equal treatment under the tax law for all religious houses of worship in the country.

The petition, lead by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, a civil rights group, was filed in response to an March 2010 amendment made to the capital’s municipal tax laws, fully exempting synagogues from property taxes.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 18, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lavished praise on the Evangelical Christian movement, and on a mission of approximately 800 members of Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization, in Jerusalem on Sunday night.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com March 19, 2012

American Evangelical pastor John Hagee - who heads the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the United States - half jokingly compared Benjamin Netanyahu to the Messiah on Sunday night, as he waited for the delayed prime minister to arrive at a Jerusalem hotel to address the crowd.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com March 14, 2012

A Jerusalem Court acquitted an antiquities collector on most counts of forgery on Wednesday, eleven years after the case was first opened.

Oded Golan, along with four others, was originally indicted for selling forged antiquities, including the Jehoash inscription, a shoebox-sized tablet inscribed with Biblical-style Hebrew instructions on caring for the Jewish Temple, and an ossuary, or ancient burial box bearing the inscription, "James, brother of Jesus."

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com March 20, 2012

The Justice Ministry announced on Monday that it has renewed a deal with the Bahai World Center in Israel exempting it from indirect taxes for another five-year term.

The government will transfer funds equivalent to any indirect outlays incurred by the World Bahai Center or any of its associated non-profit organizations for activities it carries out in operating and developing the sites.

By Tomer Zarchin www.haaretz.com March 20, 2012

In an unprecedented move, a court has ordered the Israel Prison Service to provide a Muslim inmate with festive meals on Muslim religious holidays.

The Prison Service told the court that the decision will have wide-ranging implications for all non-Jewish inmates incarcerated in Israel.

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