Religion and State in Israel – July 26, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

July 26, 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.

Alternative Tel Aviv wedding marks Tu Be’av

By Jonah Mandel July 25, 2010

“We are Jewish enough to serve in the army, pay taxes, and fulfill our civil obligations, but we are not Jewish enough to get married here,” says 28-year-old Granin, who made aliya from the FSU in the 1990s.

“Granin and Tagil stress … that they are not opposed to the very existence of the rabbinate, just think that every individual in this democracy should be entitled to choose to way they marry.”

VIDEO: Julia and Stas invite you to their civil wedding ceremony and party July 25, 2010

Yulia and Stas are marrying in a pluralistic Jewish wedding, on Tu B’Av (Jewish Valentines Day) next Sunday evening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

The wedding is being organized by NIF and a range of NIF grantees including Havaya, which is providing the pluralist Jewish content for the marriage ceremony.

U.S. Jews should help Israel redraft its immoral citizenship laws

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion July 23, 2010

“Who is a Jew” is an obsolete concept and fighting over it takes us again and again down a dead-end alley.

The only way of making any headway is to finally address the much wider issue of citizenship.

A call for state-sanctioned religious tolerance

By Rabbi David Ellenson Opinion July 21, 2010

The writer is president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

[T]he Western Wall is not actually the most potent historical symbol of the national sovereignty of the Jewish people in our historic homeland.

Rather, it is essentially a Haredi synagogue and all Jewish persons of religious conviction who do not share their ultra-Orthodox beliefs must be prepared to surrender their own as a pre-condition should they wish to worship there.

Rabbinate’s new Jewish ID demands stymieing marriage plans, immigrants say

By Raphael Ahren July 23, 2010

Immigrants applying for marriage licenses are being asked by local rabbinical courts to produce ritual wedding contracts from their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents or other often unattainable documents to prove their Jewishness, Anglo File has learned.

One rabbi close to the affair called the new process “unprecedented humiliation,” and said it was the direct consequence of new guidelines to prove Jewishness the Chief Rabbinate recently implemented.

What’s in a birth certificate?

By Raphael Ahren July 23, 2010 (see bottom section)

Immigrants from Western countries have been hit especially hard by the Rabbinate’s new guidelines, according to Rabbi Seth Farber, of the Itim organization.

As opposed to immigrants from the Former Soviet Union – where birth certificates indicated a person’s religion – Western newcomers are often at a loss about what additional papers to give a rabbinical court to prove their claim.

It’s time for some gender equality

By Batya Kahane-Dror Opinion July 25, 2010

The writer is director of the Mavoi Satum organization for women denied a divorce.

A bill that will enable the appointment of women for the position of director of the rabbinic courts, which has been written under the initiative of the Na’amat and Mavoi Satum organizations, will be submitted to the Knesset this week by MKs Orit Zuaretz and Marina Solodkin from Kadima.

Still out, but no longer down

By Peggy Cidor July 23, 2010

Shortly after [Gehr-Leibowitz] assumed his position, a dialogue was opened between him, as the representative of the Open House, and a representative of Toldot Aharon, the most extreme sect within the haredi community. It was brokered through a local haredi personality who had good relations with both sides.

Zaka founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav:

“They wanted to protect the children and teenagers from being exposed to it, but in fact the kids in Mea She’arim talked only about that ‘parade’ and the ‘toeva.’ So at some point they understood that they had to radically change their strategy, and now that the city is no longer in haredi hands, it is easier for them.”

The Interview: Unorthodox Desires

By Nadja Spiegelman July 16, 2010

Click here for PODCAST

Miryam Kabakov, editor of a new essay collection about Orthodox lesbians,Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires,” visits the Forward podcast studio discuss coming out to her traditional parents, visiting a lesbian in the ultra-Orthodox enclave of B’nai Brak, Israel, and how she believes gays and lesbians can find their place in the Orthodox world.

Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community July 22, 2010

For the last six months a number of Orthodox rabbis and educators have been preparing a statement of principles on the place of our brothers and sisters in our community who have a homosexual orientation.

Five Women Rabbis in Israel Making a Difference

By Gabrielle Birkner July 21, 2010

  • Tamar Elad-Appelbaum (Conservative)
  • Miri Gold (Reform)
  • Naamah Kelman (Reform)
  • Haviva Ner-David (Orthodox, Post-Denominational)
  • Einat Ramon (Conservative)

High Court petition aims to revoke extension of men’s IDF service

By Aviad Glickman July 22, 2010

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel filed a petition with the High Court of Justice to revoke a Knesset decision prolonging men’s active duty service by six months.

The group claims that the Knesset’s decision was unconstitutional as it offends the basic rights of soldiers such as freedom and freedom of occupation. The petitioners also claim that such grievances can be prevented by revoking the Tal Law which exempts yeshiva students from IDF service.

‘All Israeli teens should serve country’ July 25, 2010

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday called for every 18-year-old who does not take up mandatory service in the IDF to serve in the police, Magen David Adom, the fire service or the organization Zaka through the national service model, Israel Radio reported.

At the IDF induction base speaking to August combat recruits, Ashekenazi stressed that every Israeli citizen aged 18, including Arabs and haredim, should participate in mandatory service.

Interview with Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

By Chaim Levinson July 20, 2010

  • Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, do you still believe a Third Temple will be built?
  • Do you feel that the secular public’s interest in Tisha B’Av has grown in recent years?
  • There is a trend, mainly among religious Zionist rabbis, to go the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av. What do you think of that?
  • There is an unfortunate phenomenon in Tel Aviv of opening places of entertainment on Tisha B’Av eve. Why is that happening? What can be done about it?
  • What are you doing about the Hasidim from Chabad in Ramat Aviv and their conflict with the secular residents?

Poll: 74% follow Tisha B’Av tradition July 19, 2010

Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they would forego recreational activity on this day even though they do not fast, whereas 22% responded that they fast and therefore would not go out in any case.

Another 18% responded that they would go out on the eve of the fast day and labeled the current legal status “religious coercion.” Another 8% declined to answer.

What, in your opinion, is the worst source of tension in Israeli society?” To this question, 42% indicated the religious-secular issue and 41% indicated the Jewish-Arab issue.

Nine percent believe that tension between settlers and the rest of the country is the largest source of tension, and 8% responded the tension between rich and poor.

Tisha Be’Av and the future of Zionism Editorial July 20, 2010

Zionism, more than any other Jewish movement in modern history, has succeeded in bringing together diverse Jewish streams and persuasions – from secular liberals to ultra-Orthodox pietists, from socialists to religious Zionist settlers.

Zionism’s future success is dependent upon its ability to uphold both a broad, inclusive Jewish identity as well as a healthy democracy.

The vast majority of Jews must continue to feel comfortable pledging allegiance to a Jewish and democratic State of Israel.

If they do not, how can we expect non-Jews to?

HOT cable co. forced to shut off its programming for Tisha B’Av

By Gili Izikovich July 21, 2010

Cable television provider HOT removed content deemed inappropriate from its lineup Monday night, in accordance with a law on the observance of Tisha B’Av.

A woman’s honor

By Elana Maryles Sztokman July 16, 2010

Book Review

The Hebrew word kavod has at least four English interpretations, writes Prof. Tamar Ross in the introduction to Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives.

It can mean honor, respect, dignity and glory – and it can also imply weighty or important, when used as the opposite of kalut, or lightness.

Controversy or birthright?

By Dalia Sable July 21, 2010

Australian Birthright program organisers have rejected reports in the international media claiming a recent group visit to Hebron was “unprecedented”.

An article, first published in the New York Jewish Week last week, reported that the trip made by the Australian Chabad Campus Birthright group earlier this month also “raised questions about whether the program has shifted policy on visits to the West Bank”.

But Rabbi Yehudah deVries, who is responsible for the Australian Chavaya Taglit-Birthright Israel trips for Chabad Campus students, said that those undertaking the extended program for longer than the 10-day free trip have always visited Hebron, with the exception being the past two years.

Agriculture minister faces another obstacle in his quest to head JNF

By Jonathan Lis July 20, 2010

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon’s intentions to head the Jewish National Fund were hit with another delay yesterday, after the Petah Tikva District Court issued another interim injunction against the appointment.

Relationship of Israel and World Jewry Depends on Meaning, Not Claims of Necessity

By Rabbi Donniel Hartman Opinion July 19, 2010

Jews in many places around the world, particularly in North America, have created a home and a vibrant and vital Judaism for themselves.

If Israel is to have a role in their lives, it must earn it. To earn it, Israel must be a place where religious pluralism and diversity reign. It must be a place where the various Judaisms of the Jews have footholds and a place of respect.

A different kind of Middle-Eastern summit

By Joanna Paraszczuk July 23, 2010

In a conference room at Kfar Maccabiah, Ramat Gan, 120 young Jews from around the globe are brainstorming the major challenges facing Israel today – and coming up with innovative solutions.

…This community brainstorm is just one session of the annual ROI Summit, a four-day collaborative think-in about the future of the Jewish people, organized and run by young Jewish innovators from over 20 different countries, including Israel.

Christian Hasbara

By Raphael Ahren July 23, 2010

A delegation of 12 college students that calls itself the “Christian Birthright” met MKs Yoel Hasson, Fania Kirshenbaum and Ayoob Kara in the Knesset Wednesday for what the organizers called an “educational encounter.”

The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus hosted the … participants from the Eagles’ Wings Annual Israel Experience College Scholarship Program…

Environmentalists urge closure of Jordan River baptism site over poor water quality

DPA July 21, 2010

An environmental group Wednesday urged the Israeli government to close down a baptism site at the lower Jordan River until water quality standards for tourists and pilgrims bathing at the holy site were met.

Religion and State in Israel

July 26, 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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