Religion and State in Israel – May 10, 2010 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

May 10, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Huldai’s truth

Haaretz Editorial May 3, 2010

Huldai indeed minced no words. But the Shas leaders who hastened to respond were both mistaken and misleading when they said this constituted unbridled incitement.

Huldai was expressing the anguish of that sizable public that pays the bulk of our taxes, yet whose children, who study in state schools, have in recent years received less education and fewer classroom hours.

TA mayor: I did not slam Haredim May 3, 2010

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Monday denied having anything against eduction in the haredi community following his fierce criticism of the state funding of private schools.

“I don’t have anything against haredi education. I only have a problem with private education.”

Huldai told Army Radio.

“There is no other democracy in the world where the government funds private schools. If you want to fund a private school, you need to fund it yourself.”

Haredi MKs rail against TA mayor’s comments

By Ben Hartman May 3, 2010

Interior Minister Yishai told Israel Radio that haredi schools include mathematics and English in their curriculum and that there is no problem with the level of education given to pupils in the religious school system.

Shahar Ilan, vice president of research and information for Hiddush:

“I think that the publication of the report is leading to a very broad public discussion. The fury in the general public over the fact that the haredi public doesn’t serve in the army and doesn’t take part in the workforce are leading to a day when we could see a change in these policies.”

‘Ron Huldai has it wrong’ / Gafni: Haredim are financing the secular public

TheMarker May 4, 2010

Although the ultra-Orthodox community may pay value added tax, most of that group doesn’t work, [Tel Aviv University professor Dan Ben-David] said. They therefore live on the state’s dime. At most they return the 16% at which VAT is charged of the 100% state funding they get, Ben-David retorted.

Ben-David has claimed in a report that these days, about two-thirds of all ultra-Orthodox adults are non-employed (not unemployed”: they are not looking for work).

He estimates that within 30 years, 80% of the country’s school population will be either Haredi or Arab, compared to 50% in elementary grades today.

Blacking out Zionism?

By Ricky Ben-David May 7, 2010

The writer is the op-ed editor at The Jerusalem Post

It is not clear whether educational reform, stipend cutbacks, a new political party or a combination of these would reverse the current trend – one that could lead to the end of Zionism as we know it – but it is evident that the haredi-secular divide needs to be addressed seriously. For the sake of our collective future in this country.

Livni: PM committed to Shas, haredim

By Attila Somfalvi May 3, 2010

According to Livni,

“Everyone suffers from this situation; all those who care about Judaism in the national sense, not just the religious one. This stance is not anti-religious or anti-haredi. This stance places the concern for the future of our society above everything else. This issue has not topped the PM’s list of priorities.”

Likud should work with Kadima for national salvation

Haaretz Editorial May 9, 2010

The second destructive trend involves the expansion of the ultra-Orthodox community, whose members do not work and do not bear the burden of military service or paying taxes.

Instead, they are dependent on welfare payments and they deprive their children of the kind of education that would give them the necessary skills to join the labor force.

Education Ministry plan aims to give Haredim workforce skills

By Lior Dattel May 4, 2010

The proportion of ultra-Orthodox adults who do not work has been climbing for decades, but before they can join the workforce, they have to have skills employers want.

Guided by Education Minister Gideon Saar, the Council for Higher Education has formulated a plan to get thousands of Haredim to acquire higher education, in order to improve their employability.

Saar will shortly be presenting the Knesset with a five-year plan for the whole higher education system. The program for Haredim is one section.

Go figure / Who is a Haredi?

By Nati Toker May 4, 2010

Israel’s incessant religious strife has been replaced in recent years by another battle entirely: one of numbers. Each side to the political war whips out dramatic figures pertaining to the Haredim, which are countered by very different numbers from the other side.

Livni urges Likud and Kadima to join forces for peace

By Aluf Benn May 7, 2010

Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima ):

“The core curriculum is necessary from two aspects – creating a common basis reflecting Israel’s values as a democratic Jewish state. Judaism and civic studies [must be taught] in every school.

The second is providing every student with tools to join the labor force in the future and make a decent living.

This is the only interpretation of equality – equal opportunity to students and a fairer distribution of the burden among the population. This, with joint values and vision, are critical to our existence as a society. Pluralism is not a substitute but complementary.

Riding the anti-Orthodox cycle

By Yossi Verter May 6, 2010

The rise in anti-Haredi sentiment is a cyclic phenomenon.

…The question engaging many politicians this week is: Who will be the next Lapid? Kadima chair Tzipi Livni has adopted an anti-ultra-Orthodox line ever since she found herself in the opposition.

…And of course there is the natural heir – Tommy Lapid’s son, media personality Yair Lapid.

…That is, unless Huldai enters the national race.

This is the battlefront

By Yossi Sarid Opinion May 7, 2010

This week, we learned another exasperating statistic: One out of eight children in Jerusalem – only one – is studying in the state school system. And 20 years from now, only 20 percent, nationwide, will be studying in this system. That’s not a forecast, it’s a battlefront.

What Haredi education does give

By Elia Leibowitz Opinion May 7, 2010

…the mayor seems not to have touched on another aspect of Haredi and yeshiva education, including the “Zionist” yeshivas – namely, the damage this education causes the individuals through what it does teach.

‘I won’t remain silent anymore’

By Avirama Golan Opinion May 6, 2010

Huldai: “I don’t know about other people, but for me the Nahari law made it possible for me to say outright what I could not say before: that the State of Israel is fully financing private education.

Previously, local governments could reinforce, say, a state, secular or ‘free’ school – or whatever you choose to call it – but now the lawmakers suddenly come and say: ‘If you’re giving something to Yaakov, you have to give the same to Moshe.’ Why? Just like that.”

Gabi Gazit: I didn’t mean all haredim

By Kobi Nahshoni May 7, 2010

Radio talk-show host Gabi Gazit referred for the first time Monday to the harsh words he had spoken against the ultra-Orthodox and settlers, claiming “I was misunderstood.”

“I am the son of a haredi Jew,” he said. “My father was a cantor, and taught me never to undermine the faith of others.”

Helping haredim find work

By Billie Frenkel May 9, 2010

The Higher Education Council is working on a new program in the aims of bringing thousands of ultra-Orthodox students into academic institutions.

The plan is meant to boost haredi integration in higher education institutions in order to improve their ability to later join the workforce. The program was formulated by Manuel Trachtenberg, the director of the National Economic Council, and is expected to be unveiled in a few months.

New Study Features Hareidi Religious Worker

By Avi Yellin May 4, 2010

The overall employment rate of Israel’s hareidi religious sector, including both men and women, is 43.2 percent, with 65 percent of unemployed men saying they would not work in a mixed setting with female or non-religious co-workers.

Poll: Secular public believes haredi majority endangers state May 6, 2010

The third question asked, “Which of the following proposals do you believe would better incorporate haredim into society?”

The results showed that of the seculars polled, 47% believe mandatory IDF service would help haredim assimilate better, 37% of religious people believe occupational training would help, and 42% of the haredim want affirmative action.

Aryeh Deri Warns of Alarming Growing Anti-Religious Trend in Israel

By Yechiel Spira May 6, 2010

Deri questions the validity of recent studies, explaining behind them are journalists who are now portraying themselves as investigative and Rabbi Regev, who is affiliated with the Reform Movement. He asks “since when have they acquired an expertise in statistics?”

The former Shas party leader warns that in our naiveté, we are not taking the matter seriously enough. While we should be conducting our own research, alternatively, we find ourselves responding to every journalist who decides to slam the chareidi community.

Israeli companies discover the merits of Haredi women

By Ido Solomon May 6, 2010

One reason more and more Haredim, men and women alike, are seeking employment is that the state has been cutting child allowances. But when they try to find work, they find many barriers. Some are internal – the special requirements of their religious rules. Other are external. Employers require that prospective employees pass tests, have a minimal education and can integrate into the culture of the secular workplace.

Studying Judaism Editorial May 9, 2010

An absurd situation has been created in which the State of Israel funds haredi schools that produce graduates who lack the occupational skills and the Zionist ethos to integrate into Israeli society, while it refrains from enriching secular schools with Jewish studies. This counterproductive policy must end.

Ultra-Orthodox educators reject plan to raise education bar for principals

By Or Kashti May 9, 2010

Leading figures in the state religious-education system are undermining the Education Ministry’s attempts to institute regulations that will require school principals to hold master’s degrees.

…Leading figures in the Religious Education Administration recently effected changes that lend their school system a decidedly more ultra-Orthodox feel.

Secular books have been removed from nursery libraries, Torah study often takes the place of core subjects and boys and girls are separated from first grade on, including on school buses.

Ashkenazim, Sephardim fail to agree on Emmanuel girls school

By Dan Izenberg May 7, 2010

The dispute between Sephardim and Ashkenazim over the Beit Ya’acov school for girls in Emmanuel has not been resolved, attorney Aviad Hacohen informed the High Court of Justice on Thursday.

Attorney Aviad Hacohen charged that the hassidim continue to insist that there be two separate tracks in the school and that the children of each track do not share any classrooms with those of the other track.

He also accused the parents and the Independent Education Center of drafting a new constitution for the hassidic track that is once again discriminatory and that will deliberately prevent many Sephardim from joining it.

Was the most radical of Neturei Karta extremists really all that different?

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion May 7, 2010

Through the schools, the rabbis control also the parents and their children’s futures, bringing up another generation that believe they have no real allegiance or responsibility to a secular state. Hirsch accused them of selling out to the state but he was wrong. Menachem Porush may have been his bitter enemy but they were both working to achieve the same aims. It was the Zionists who sold out and allowed Hirsch’s rivals in the Haredi world to realize his vision.

Graves adjacent to Barzilai hospital soon to be removed May 9, 2010

Haaretz Cartoon by Amos Biderman March 26, 2010

(PM Netanyahu returns to Israel from trip to U.S.)

The ancient tombs near the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon which were at the heart of a national controversy will be removed in the near future, possibly next week, a specially designated committee created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Sunday.

Barzilai ER may be built beneath graves

By Yair Ettinger May 7, 2010

Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided last month to build a missile-resistant emergency room on the originally proposed site at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, despite the presence of ancient graves, the director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Eyal Gabai, is reportedly considering a new proposal to build the emergency room underground, beneath the graves.

Seculars fight closure of J’lem cinema on Shabbat

By Ronen Medzini May 3, 2010

Following the city council’s decision to keep the Cinema City complex – to be constructed the coming year – closed on Shabbat, a group of secular youths is pushing forward with its initiative to offer private movie screenings on Fridays, and vows additional activity.

Haredim clash with police in protest over boy’s autopsy

By Yair Ettinger and Liel Kyzer May 6, 2010

Hundreds of Haredim clashed with police forces in Beit Shemesh on Thursday injuring a police officer, following the death of a 10-year-old boy in his home.

When the police arrived at the scene, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews started to congregate around the boy’s home, apparently in fear the boy’s body will be evacuated and undergo an autopsy.

10-year-old released for burial May 6, 2010

After an external examination, which Magen David Adom and protesting haredim agreed upon in place of an autopsy, a 10-year-old boy who passed away Thursday morning in Beit Shemesh was released for burial.

Authorities confirmed the cause of death was natural, and was not caused by foul play.

The haredi protesters dispersed after the boy was released for burial.

Haredi group: Exclusion us from Holocaust conference is ‘Judenrein’

By Or Kashti May 6, 2010

In response to claims by an ultra-Orthodox youth movement that the Education Ministry is “placing it beyond the pale and with a yellow patch” for not inviting it to a Holocaust conference of youth movements, a ministry official replied that the movement did not meet the criteria for funding, and he would not give into pressure “even if you call us kapos in your next letter.”

Pyromaniac in Jerusalem? 3 synagogues torched in a week

By Shmulik Grossman May 3, 2010

Three synagogues in Jerusalem were set on fire over the course of a week, prompting fears that a pyromaniac may be operating the capital.

Police are working with Fire and Rescue Service officials in order to track down the arsonist or arsonists.

Some ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem believe the fires are linked to the power struggles between the various hasidic sects in the city, but a prominent rabbi said torching synagogues “is a red line that no Jew would cross.”

Who is burning Jerusalem synagogues?

By Abe Selig May 4, 2010

The first attack, which Jerusalem police had characterized on Saturday night as arson, occurred inside the Heichal Shlomo synagogue on Rehov Panim Meirot in the capital’s Romema neighborhood. The blaze, which damaged the ark and its curtains before passers-by were able to douse the flames, began as revelers nearby burned bonfires in honor of Lag Ba’omer.

Jerusalem girl sets fire in synagogue

By Shmulik Grossman May 4, 2010

A 15-year-old Jerusalem girl was arrested on suspicion that she lit a fire next to the Holy Ark of a synagogue in the city on the evening of Lag B’Omer. The girl claims that she wanted to take revenge for ultra-Orthodox harassment.

Yeshiva head suspected of shooting student indicted

By Aviad Glickman May 7, 2010

Three days after his arrest, the Jerusalem District Prosecution filed an indictment again Ben Ish Chai Yeshiva head Menachem Edri, who allegedly shot and wounded one of his students following an argument. Edri’s friend, 30-year-old Yitzhak Zohar of Jerusalem, was also charged with assisting the Yeshiva head in the act.

Rabbinical court forbids Haredim from investing in Israeli companies

By Nati Toker May 7, 2010

According to a new ruling by the Badatz – a rabbinical court whose rulings are observed by a significant portion of the Haredi community – ultra-Orthodox Jews must not invest in the shares of Israeli companies, even in those owned by Orthodox businessmen such as Lev Leviev, Shaya Boymelgreen and Motti Zisser.

Investment firms promote ‘kosher’ funds

By Sharon Wrobel May 6, 2010

Investment houses are starting to take an interest in finding investment instruments that comply with Halacha, in an effort to target and serve haredi investors and seek new niche markets.

Over the past two years, the Badatz, which issues haredi kashrut certification, has begun granting its approval to various investment instruments.

Money Talks – More Kibbutzim Seeking Mehadrin Hechsher for Dairy Products

By Yechiel Spira May 6, 2010

Realizing the continuous growth of the mehadrin dairy market in Israel, more and more kibbutzim involved in the production of dairy products are seeking a chareidi hechsher.

Religion and State in Israel

May 10, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.

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