Religion and State in Israel – June 7, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

June 7, 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.

IDF plans massive Haredi recruitment

By Yaakov Katz May 31, 2010

Facing dwindling draft numbers and a shortage of 10,000 soldiers, the IDF Manpower Division has drawn up a plan to significantly increase the number of ultra-Orthodox soldiers, to more than 50 percent of the haredi boys who turn 18 in 2020.

The revolutionary plan, formulated by OC Manpower Division Maj.-Gen. Avi Zamir and approved by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, was presented early this month to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The first stage of the plan will be to double the number of Haredim serving in the military by 2012.

The second phase of the plan calls for recruiting close to 60% of 18-year-old haredim each year from 2020. The Haredim will have the option of serving in a national service position instead of the military.

Treasury proposes exempting Haredim from IDF draft at 22

By Meirav Arlosoroff May 31, 2010

The battle over drafting Haredi men has begun again, eight years after the Tal Law exempted them from army service for as long as they study at yeshivas.

Two weeks ago, at a stormy meeting held in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz proposed changing the Tal Law to allow ultra-Orthodox men to join the workforce.

Be wise, not right: Can’t draft the Haredim anyway

By Meirav Arlosoroff Opinion June 1, 2010

If Israel society would stop denying reality and admit that Haredim do not serve in the army, it could reach an agreement on a shortened national service as a condition for joining the workforce – and both the Haredim and Israeli society would be better off for it. Better off economically, not morally, that is.

What is more important? The just ethos of military service for all or the wise realization that in practice there is no chance of drafting Haredim? That is the question.

IDF Chief Rabbi Ronsky: I encouraged return to religion in army

By Kobi Nahshoni June 6, 2010

Outgoing Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Avichai Ronsky believes there is “room for return to the religion in the army”.

Following a particularly stormy term, during which he was criticized for his activity to instill “Jewish awareness” among the soldiers, the rabbi admits that it was the first stage in encouraging them to become newly religious.

135,616 Yeshiva and Kollel Students in Eretz Yisroel

By Yechiel Spira May 28, 2010

Some 135,600 bnei Torah are registered in a total of 2,000 yeshivas and kollelim throughout Eretz Yisroel, according to data compiled by Yated Ne’eman and published on Erev Shavuos.

The figures, which were provided by the Union of Yeshiva Managers, show that at least 135,616 are currently studying at 280 yeshivos ketanos and 1,720 yeshivos gedolos and kollelim.

Some 30,000 students are enrolled in the yeshivos ketanos in addition to 33,768 students at the yeshivos gedolos — including 8,000 students from abroad. The kollelim boast 71,848 full-time lomdei Torah.

55% of seculars prefer not to buy Eda Haredit Badatz products

By Kobi Nahshoni June 2, 2010

Asked whether they would endorse a boycott of Eda Haredit Badatz products, 37% responded they oppose any type of boycott, 23% said that given a choice they would purchase products with other kosher stamps, 21% stated they endorse a boycott, 11% said they prefer Badatz products for the level of supervision, while 8% did not have an opinion on the matter.

An analysis according to religious affiliation indicated that 30% of seculars would not purchase Eda Haredit Badatz products and 25% would prefer products with other stamps;

88% of the ultra-Orthodox public would opt for Badatz due to their high level of supervision, whereas 49% of traditionalists and 41% of the religious public oppose any type of boycott.

Rabbanut to Give Kashrus to Ship Despite Chilul Shabbos

By Yechiel Spira June 2, 2010

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel continues to grant kashrus supervision to luxury liners to permit kosher cruises despite chilul shabbos, explaining the same holds true with non-shomer shabbos hotels, seeking to justify the decision.

Chareidi Boycott Update: Electra Backs Down in Excavation Dispute

By Yechiel Spira May 28, 2010

It appears the growing boycott by the chareidi community against the Electra Company may have succeeded in persuading the company to seek a solution surrounding the excavations in Jaffa.

Bringing programming to Haredi kids

By Nitzan Sadan June 1, 2010

“We initially developed the Yiddish version as a tool for elderly people interested in studying programming, in a bid to make the studying process easier for them,” Eytam CEO Meir Sela told Ynet.

“Later on, we decided to appeal to the haredi audience, which is also becoming increasingly interested in technological studies for preschoolers.”

Ultra-Orthodox in Transition

By Aryeh Tepper Opinion June 3, 2010

It is painfully clear that the present situation, in which one Jewish sector lacks the tools to preserve itself economically while the rest pick up the slack, is unsustainable.

It is no less clear that both haredi and non-haredi Israelis, who have long been at daggers drawn, will need to display exceptional wisdom and resourcefulness in order to make the compromises that alone will succeed in holding together their Jewish commonwealth.

19 Haredim arrested at construction site

By Sharon Roffe-Ofir June 6, 2010

Nineteen ultra-Orthodox men were arrested Sunday while trying to prevent construction work on a hotel and mall in Nazareth.

Riots broke out when burial caves thought to contain graves up to 4,000 years old were discovered during digging on the construction site.

The construction site is located on a central Nazareth street, in front of the Church of the Annunciation. It was fenced off by the Antiquities Authority early Sunday in order to allow for archaeological work.

Israel Postal Company designs Chabad stamp

By Tzemach Brown June 2, 2010

The Israeli Postal Company has produced a special postal stamp honoring the Fifth Annual Conference of Directors of Chabad Institutions and Organizations in Israel which is to take place on June 9, 2010.

Settler rabbi Aviner’s ruling on sperm donation reignites battle on right wing

By Chaim Levinson May 31, 2010

15 people demonstrated outside the home of a leading settler rabbi, Shlomo Aviner. They were protesting a recent religious ruling Aviner issued, allowing Jewish couples to use sperm donations from non-Jews for artificial insemination, even if they already have children.

…While other rabbis have permitted sperm donations from non-Jews in certain extreme circumstances, a couple who already has children is not considered eligible. Thus Aviner’s ruling was ground-breaking.

Historic Sheinkin synagogue reopens

By Gil Zohar June 5, 2010

Tel Aviv hipsters rubbed shoulders on Tuesday with Georgian Jews, Lubavitcher rabbis and MKs at the rededication of the historic Geulat Yisrael Synagogue just off übercool Sheinkin Street, following a year-long renovation funded by the World Congress of Georgian Jews.

[Gavriel Mirilashvili] who earlier this year donated one million cloth kippot to the Western Wall Foundation – decided to restore the entire 620-seat synagogue at an estimated cost of $2 million.

Strengthening the Religious-Zionist Community June 6, 2010

Q & A with Rav Aviner

Question: How can we internally strengthen the Religious-Zionist community and increase its influence? Not through specific programs but by an overall philosophy.

Answer: Besides the fact that this community is becoming stronger both quantitatively and qualitatively, it also has a major impact on the other two communities between which it mediates: the non-Zionist Charedim and the Secular-Zionists.

This influence is not a direct one but a natural one of absorption. The Secular-Zionists are coming closer to Torah, and are much closer than they were before the establishment of the State – and this is based on their encounter with the Religious-Zionist community, in which it sees many sterling qualities in the area of education, family life and in our relationship to the State and the army.

Similarly, the Charedi community is coming closer to the State and the entire enterprise of the national revival, in that it unwittingly absorbs Torat Eretz Yisrael from the Religious-Zionists.

The Way We AidRethinking Communal Funding of Overseas Jewish Needs May 26, 2010

The Forward asked a diverse group of Jewish thinkers and communal activists from around the world to weigh in and address the following question: How should North America’s Jewish community be thinking about its priorities and purposes in funding Jewish needs abroad?

New Century, New Priorities, By Yossi Beilin

Putting Identity First, By Jonathan S. Tobin

Collective Responsibility, By Richard Wexler

Avraham Infeld honored for fortifying Jewish identity June 4, 2010

The NADAV Foundation extended warm congratulations to Avraham Infeld, a senior scholar and advisor at the Foundation. Infeld received Hillel’s Renaissance Award at New York’s Columbia University Wednesday in recognition of his extraordinary service to the Jewish People.

Reviving Tel Aviv’s Valhalla

By Joanna Paraszczuk June 5, 2010

Now, thanks to an initiative by the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, this long-forgotten building is being lovingly restored and will soon reopen its doors to the public as the Schechter Center for Jewish Culture.

As well as housing the Masorti movement’s Kehilat Sinai and Midreshet Iyun, the new Schechter Center for Jewish Culture will house a theater, a cafe, an art gallery, a Judaica shop and a kindergarten.

On a mission from God

By Stewart Weiss Opinion June 4, 2010

The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana

Last week, the good citizens of Ra’anana awoke to find their cars plastered with what appeared to be parking tickets.

However, on closer examination, the cards turned out to be yet another slick missionary campaign conducted by Jews for Jesus.

The message read, in part: “Jews, you have been condemned to death. But you can still save yourselves from this terrible punishment – all you have to do is believe in Jesus and all will be forgiven!” The card also included a coupon for a free book, They Call Him Yeshua.

Religion and State in Israel

June 7, 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.

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