Religion and State in Israel – October 11, 2010 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 11, 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.

Women of the Wall Demands Answers as to the Legality of the New Western Wall Regulation October 10, 2010

Rabbi Rabinowitz responded in a letter on October 6, 2010 saying that his new regulation stands to reason, because there is no reason to bring Torahs into the Western Wall, even for a Bar Mitzvah, since there are 100 Torahs there, which provide an ample response to the needs of all worshipers at any time.

In response to Rabinowitz’s letter, Women of the Wall Chair Anat Hoffman said, “The 100 Torahs in the men’s section of the Western Wall might indeed be adequate for public use, but it is clear he does not consider women as part of the public since women have no access to any of the Torahs in the men’s section.”

Kotel Plaza renovations plan gets initial okay

By Melanie Lidman October 5, 2010

A new plan to completely renovate the Western Wall Plaza was approved by the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee on Monday, paving the way for the most drastic changes to the layout of the area since the plaza was created after the Six Day War.

“It looks like the architecture is going to now set in stone, so to speak, the perspective that women are spectators and men are worshipers,” said Anat Hoffman, director of Women of the Wall, a monthly women’s prayer group that advocates for equal treatment for women at the site.

“There are partitions that are suggested where women can observe men, but men can’t observe women,” she said.

J’lem considers tunnel entry to Western Wall Plaza

By Nir Hasson October 4, 2010

The plan – prepared by the Western Wall Foundation in conjunction with the Jerusalem municipality and Jerusalem Development Authority – includes the construction of a new underground passageway that would become the main entryway to the plaza.

Jerusalem’s Old City walls to be broken for first time in 112 years

By Nir Hasson October 6, 2010

A wide-ranging plan for renovation of parts of the Old City of Jerusalem envisions a new gate being broken in the city walls for the first time in 112 years.

The new gate will be an entry to a tunnel that would be hewn through the rock under all the layers of the city, beginning between Zion Gate and Dung Gate, leading to a four-story parking garage under the current parking lot not far from the Western Wall.

Q&A: Tzipi Livni

By David Samuels October 8, 2010

Q: Many American Jews were shocked when the Rotem bill got wide publicity here. They felt that the State of Israel asks them to support the state and consider themselves partners in a shared vision, and here the State of Israel is saying that we, our children, our marriages, our rabbis, our customs, are not really Jewish.

Tzipi Livni:

I think that it’s a combination of a problematic system of election with very weak politicians.

The problem is that a party like Likud, which is not ultra-Orthodox, gives the monopoly on the substance of the words “Jewish State” to the ultra-Orthodox. And this is something that affects not only our relationship with world Jewry but also my life in Israel.

Together we need to change this bill. Kadima voted against it, and we hope the coalition will change it as well.

Converts demand hearing on conversion nullifications

By Jonah Mandel October 4, 2010

The validity of a recent rabbinic court ruling that undid the nullification of conversions and restored the Jewish status to two converts is being challenged by none other than the two women who had petitioned the High Court of Justice against the rabbinate, after two rabbis deemed their conversions via the State Conversion Authority under Rabbi Haim Druckman invalid.

A destructive regression

By Claude Kandiyoti Opinion October 8, 2010

Claude Kandiyoti is a Belgian businessman, and a contributor to the Belgian Jewish monthly Contact J.

A process of historical regression is under way in Judaism today, by which the extremists have taken control from the more moderate majority.

And so, in Israel, and not only there, a minority of self-proclaimed guardians of the Jewish people’s purity is securing a monopoly over Jewish identity. And they are doing so with the complicity of the Knesset.

The silence of the rabbis

By Yizhar Hess Opinion October 6, 2010

The writer is executive director and CEO of the Masorti Movement in Israel.

The silence of the chief rabbis on this issue must provide the opening for an historic alliance between the moderates of Israeli Orthodoxy and the non- Orthodox streams, both Reform and Masorti-Conservative.

The Chief Rabbinate must be privatized; it cannot be repaired or revived.

Kosher Hip-Hop – Can Rap Music be Converted to Judaism?

By Yoni Kempinksi and Ben Bresky October 4, 2010

Click here for VIDEO interview with Yitz “Y-Love” Jordan

Jewish hip-hop artist Yitz “Y-Love” Jordan recently returned to Israel for a series of concerts over the Sukkot holiday. He spoke with Israel National News about his new projects, his journey to Judaism and why hip-hop can invigorate Jewish youth.

Jordan praises Israel and is considering a permanent move to the country. “Here in Jerusalem I am way bigger than in New York, with all the yeshiva kids. They want to listen to hip-hop in general, but I’m the only hip-hop that the rabbis will let them listen to,” states the musician.

Ministry is not properly monitoring sex-segregated buses, charge activists

By Raphael Ahren October 8, 2010

The Transportation Ministry is not following through on its commitment to honestly assess whether gender separation in Haredi bus lines is truly voluntary, activists trying to abolish the so-called “Mehadrin” buses assert.

By making it highly inconvenient for passengers to submit anonymous complaints and insufficiently informing passengers about their rights, the ministry flouted an order by High Court of Justice, they charge. The ministry responded that it has provided several ways for people to submit complaints.

Reform Jews: Add our synagogues to religions ministry website October 4, 2010

The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism on Monday demanded that the Religious Services Ministry add the names of Reform synagogues to its official website, Israel Radio reported.

In a letter to Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi, the movement wrote that the refusal to list the synagogues would be a violation of a court order and that failure do so would be considered unlawful discrimination.

Is Eilat turning religious?

By Ezra Arbeli October 9, 2010

Eilat, Israel’s southern resort city and a place practically synonymous with secularism seems to be rediscovering faith.

The city’s synagogues are growing in numbers, more and more of its councilmen are religious and many hotels are observing kosher laws with newfound devotion.

Eilat’s City Council numbers 17, five of whom are religious. Religion’s growing power is evident mostly in the fact that two key positions in the council – deputy mayor and head of the emergency services – are held by Shas councilmen.

Livni Now Pressing Israel-Diaspora Gap Issue

By Gary Rosenblatt Opinion October 6, 2010

The writer is The Jewish Week Editor and Publisher

[Tzipi Livni] pointedly stayed away from political discussion during our 90-minute session, though she had made clear back home that she hoped to engage diaspora Jewryin addressing an Israeli governmental system that many believe is held hostage by political minorities, particularly from the religious right.

The implicit critique here is that the current Likud-led coalition is beholden to haredi Orthodox parties, creating tensions over conversion legislation and other areas of personal status that could further alienate liberal Jews in America and throughout the diaspora.

Demand for Taglit-Birthright trips on the rise October 10, 2010

Demand among young Jews in the Diaspora to participate in Taglit-Birthright Israel educational tours of Israel rose by 11% compared to last year, according to the most recent enrollment data of candidates in North America.

During its latest registration period in September, Taglit-Birthright Israel received 23,623 eligible applications for 9,576 places on its winter trips, which will take place between December this year and March 2011.

Israel studies increasingly popular in US

By Yitzhak Benhorin October 10, 2010

“There are some 1,300 courses on the State of Israel today in US universities. That is three times as many as there were three years ago. This is a revolution,” says Prof. Ilan Troen from Brandeis University.

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, the largest in the US and apparently in the world, has a large part to play in the current revolution. It quickly became evident that there was a lack of lecturers on Israel, a problem Troen took upon himself to solve.

Presenting: Abramowitz & Silverman! October 7, 2010

Yediot Aharonot Simchat Torah edition

Mom’s a rabbi; Aunt Sarah’s a comedian • Dad was nominated for both the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes; but closest to his heart is his solar energy project in the Arava • They’re the parents of five — two adopted from Ethiopia — and they live in Jerusalem • Meet the most optimistic, Zionist family of them all

Jewish leaders to focus on future of peace process at Jerusalem conference

By Natasha Mozgovaya October 10, 2010

The leaders of Jewish organizations from around the world and important Jewish figures will meet in Jerusalem for a two-day conference on October 20 in a meet being organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. It is to deliberate the impact on the Jewish people of the peace process and possible concessions to be expected.

Youth, 14, petitions High Court to take rabbinate exam

By Raanan Ben-Zur October 10, 2010

A 14-year old from Netanya has petitioned the High Court against the Chief Rabbinate’s decision to prevent him from taking the rabbinate’s exam because of his age. The youth claims that Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar acted “without authority.”

See also: 14-year-old takes Rabbinate exams

By Kobi Nahshoni July 18, 2010

New design, same old problems – Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem

By Noam Dvir October 7, 2010

The good news is that the new plans for the Mamilla site look much more reasonable than Gehry’s.

First of all, they do not have pretensions of creating a another Bilbao museum (after Gehry’s successful Spanish effort) in the center of Jerusalem, or competing with historic monuments nearby. The architectural language is contemporary and light, with a user-friendly vibe.

At the same time, the problematic nature of the site remains.

Hallelujah! Evangelicals hold gospel gathering in Israel

By Ron Friedman October 7, 2010

A group of 1,400 Evangelical Christian from South Africa gathered in Israel this week for three evenings of worship and devotion in Jerusalem’s Old City and a week of touring the country. The Christian pilgrims, who arrived in 34 groups on a series of flights earlier this week, plan to express their love and support for the State of Israel during their countrywide visit.

God and grapes

By Chaim Levinson October 8, 2010

A small group of North Americans has been making pilgrimages to the vineyards of West Bank settlements, with the aim of helping the Chosen People fulfill the prophecies of old.

Christian pro-Israel group opens headquarters in east J’lem

Original article not available October 4, 2010

The International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation (IIACF), an umbrella organization for an international network of pro-Israel lobbies in governments around the world, opened its headquarters in east Jerusalem on Wednesday with a ceremony attended by 40 supporters of Christian-Israel partnerships.

The building, located across from the American consulate on Nablus Road, will act as a headquarters for both IIACF and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, headed by former MK Rabbi Benny Elon (National Union).

Rabbi Riskin engages Christians in dialogue about our “United Mission” October 5, 2010

If we accept internal Jewish pluralism, then we should accept the pluralism between religions. Here we have a commitment to knowing about Christianity and then thinking about actual parallel ideas.

Religion and State in Israel

October 11, 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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