Religion and State in Israel – November 1, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

November 1, 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.

Students take to streets to protest stipend law

By Nir Hasson, Asaf Shtull-Trauring, Noah Kosharek and Yanir Yagna October 28, 2010

The Compromise
“We’ll give stipends to any student who has 3 children, whose wife is pregnant and who has a beard”

“The bill proposed by [United Torah Judaism MK Moshe] Gafni and the amendment proposed by the prime minister are illogical. They perpetuate the situation, in which the Haredim do not work and do not serve in the army,” said Yuval Admon, head of the Hebrew University student union.

Israel must not pay those who refuse to work

Editorial October 28, 2010

Facing public criticism, the prime minister appointed a committee to study the issue, which is scheduled to submit its recommendations within two weeks. But the politicians of United Torah Judaism and Shas are not waiting.

They have already threatened to vote against the budget if the stipends to yeshiva students are not codified in law by the end of the year. We can only hope that this time Benjamin Netanyahu will withstand the pressure and not permit the yeshiva students law to pass.

Protesters at Israeli universities rally against stipends for yeshiva students October 27, 2010

Thousands of students from universities across the country protested Wednesday against a controversial bill calling for resumption in allowances to full-time yeshiva students, the cost of which has been included in the state budget for the next two years.

Schools, stipends trigger Israeli religious battle

By Aron Heller, The Associated Press October 28, 2010

“Yeshiva students law” (Yair Lapid)

Many secular Israelis see the ultra-Orthodox, with their large families, as a financial drain and are growing less willing to subsidize them when half of their men don’t work – preferring to study the Torah – and their children are taught little math and science. They warn that if the system continues it could ultimately undermine a country that has become a high-tech powerhouse with vibrant media and culture.

Schools have emerged as a main front in the conflict.

Seculars to march in Bnei Brak against yeshiva funding

By Yoav Zitun October 27, 2010

Tel Aviv District Police authorized on Wednesday the proposed route of a protest march set to be held in Bnei Brak against a bill granting millions in state funding to yeshiva students.

Four months ago police refused to approve the march, which is being organized by the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden, for fear of violence on the part of radical ultra-Orthodox. Police and the organizers eventually agreed on an alternate route.

Police OK secular march through streets of Bnei Brak

By Yoav Zitun October 27, 2010

The police approved requests from student unions and other secular organizations to march through certain streets in the religious city after organizers threatened that they would appeal to the High Courts.

Students protest yeshiva stipends across the country

By Melanie Lidman October 27, 2010

“Wake up, Bibi, students are worth more!” students chanted outside Hebrew University as they blocked main roads and burned tires.

“We waited 10 years for an answer from the Supreme Court,” said Ofri Raviv, vice president of the student union at Hebrew University, referring to a legal effort launched in 2000 to examine the issue.

7 detained as students protest Haredi funds

By Tomer Velmer October 27, 2010

The chairman of the National Student Union Itzik Shmuli said that: “We are running the struggle against the discriminating benefits system, not against the haredim but we are for equal rights. We are determined to continue the struggle both from a public perspective and a legal perspective. We intend to appeal to the High Courts to abolish the discriminating law.”

University students turn to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef for support October 27, 2010

Chairman of the Tel Aviv Student Union, Tal Livne, has requested the support of Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the university student’s battle against a bill granting yeshiva students millions in state funds.

Livne extended an invitation to the rabbi to visit the Tel Aviv University campus.

Students give Netanyahu ‘wake-up call’

By Tomer Velmer October 27, 2010

Chairman of the IDC’s Student Union, Yair Itzhar-Belachovsky, agreed. “The students are an entire public that works, pays taxes, serves in the reserves, volunteers in the community, and contributes to the state. Despite this the government is choosing, along with all of its coalition members, to turn its back on this public and trample it,” he said.

Knesset passes 1st reading of budget with Yeshiva stipends included

By Gil Hoffman and staff October 26, 2010

“State Budget”

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Ministry issued clarifications, saying the stipends were placed in the budget for the first vote but would not be included in the final readings of the budget bill if they were not legislated by then.

‘Haredim obliged to work for their, economy’s benefit’

By Gil Hoffman and staff October 26, 2010

“I do not understand the firestorm over the issue of income supports for kollel students,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said during a meeting in the Knesset.

“The haredim are obliged to join the labor force for their own benefit and the benefit of the economy, but the protest accompanying the insertion of this clause into the current budget as was done in the last 30 years is a storm in a teacup.”

Haredi sea of mediocrity

By Aviad Kleinberg Opinion October 27, 2010

The senselessness of the notion that allows a growing part of Israel’s population to evade work is clear. The foolish law on yeshiva student allowances is bad for seculars (because it’s discriminatory, and because it boosts the burden – which is great as it is – born by the secular sector.)

However, the income supplement law is bad for the haredim as well: It simultaneously encourages laziness and mediocrity.

A slap in our face

By Itzik Shmuli Opinion October 26, 2010

Itzik Shmuli is Chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students

We have no choice. Otherwise, in 20 years, we shall be left with a society that has a small army, small industrial sector, small academic world, and plenty of yeshivas that exist at the expense of the trampled secular majority.

This will be good news for anyone plotting to harm the State of Israel, and bad news for those who worry about its fate and existence.

Ben Gurion U students to protest against yeshiva stipends law October 26, 2010

The Student Union of Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva announced Tuesday morning that it will hold a strike on classes between the hours of 12:00 and 13:00 on Wednesday in protest of the Knesset’s initial approval of the state budget including stipends for haredi kollel students.

Stipends for yeshiva students included in state budget

By Jonathan Lis and Barak Ravid October 25, 2010

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz included a sum of NIS 111 million intended for yeshiva students’ stipends in the state budget which was approved by the Knesset on Monday.

Haredi stipends included in state budget

By Roni Sofer October 25, 2010

Prime Minister’s Office:

“By the end of the year, before the budget law passes its second and third readings, the government will determine a legal arrangement for granting the support according to the High Court’s demand. If the process is not completed by the time the budget law is approved, the budget allotted to the yeshiva students will be turned over to the state budget’s general reserve.”

PM on controversial Yeshiva student bill: Every Israeli should work

By Jonathan Lis October 25, 2010

Israel Beiteinu released a statement saying its ministers would oppose the bill, as it “perpetuates unemployment and damages the Israeli economy.”

“Furthermore, the bill bluntly discriminates against Israeli university students who serve in the army and pay their taxes,” the statement said.

Students step up campaign against haredi funding bill

By Tomer Velmer October 26, 2010

Chairman of the Tel Aviv University Student Union Ran Livne:

“Providing yeshiva students with scholarships and not students means that the state believes a yeshiva student contributes more to the state than a medical student. This is a slap in the face of the students.”

PM punts problem of yeshiva stipends by forming c’tee

By Gil Hoffman October 25, 2010

MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) proposed a bill on Sunday that would give stipends to university students with a child and no apartment or car.

“If you give incentives to yeshiva students, you have to give them to university students too,” Hasson said.

“Giving university stipends only from the third child onward is ridiculous, because I don’t know university students with three kids. University students pay taxes, serve in the army and contribute to the state, so if we help anyone, it should be them.”

Panel to recommend giving Israeli yeshiva students stipends during job training

By Zvi Zrahiya and Jonathan Lis October 25, 2010

A prime ministerial committee examining a controversial bill calling for a resumption in allowances to yeshiva students is expected to recommend that students who want to join the workforce be allowed stipends during a transition period in which they study Torah and work.

Gideon Sa’ar, are yeshiva students not entitled to an income allowance?

By Jonathan Lis October 25, 2010

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar:

“At the same time, this is not an isolated issue. I see it in a broader context – the integration of the ultra-Orthodox into the labor force, the education system, etc.

It’s not right always to discuss an isolated subject because that is what the Haredim are demanding. It is not right to continue with the salami tactics every time we encounter a Haredi demand and a threat, and overlook the interests of the State of Israel.”

Haredi students ‘don’t want donations’

By Boaz Fyler October 25, 2010

“I did the whole haredi course of studies, and after I finished I realized that if I don’t learn a profession, the poverty in Bnei Brak can reach me too,” added Avraham Bitkin.

“I didn’t want to live off of donations. It’s not my style, or the style of many of my friends,” he explained.

Changing the unsustainable Editorial October 25, 2010

For the past few decades the State of Israel has proved its commitment to encouraging Torah study. Now it is the haredi community’s turn to prove its commitment to maintaining Israel’s socioeconomic viability.

Secular public’s demographic nightmare

By Einat Fishbein October 31, 2010

“We have two states here,” Ben-David says. “A First World state that is considered a pioneer, alongside a state whose citizens do not get the tools and conditions to contend with the modern-day economy.

The second state’s part in the overall population keeps growing, and just like a weight it keeps pulling everything downward. We can maintain this inequality as long as the less-employed population groups are relatively small. The question is how big they’re getting.”

Yishai: Kollel, university students both deserve benefit staff and Gil Hoffman October 24, 2010

United Torah Judaism head Menahem Eliezer Moses told Israel Radio on Sunday that his party will leave the coalition if the law proposed by his fellow MK Moshe Gafni isn’t passed by the end of the year.

Minister backs segregated Haredi housing

By Shai Pauzner, Calcalist October 29, 2010

“Haredim will take over secular neighborhoods if ultra-Orthodox cities or neighborhoods are not planned,” Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias said Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Gesher Foundation, which promotes dialogue between seculars and the religious public, the minister added, “I’m in favor of separate housing in separate neighborhoods for haredim. I would not let my children meet with secular youth.”

Neighbors of Haredi town planning expansion fear more ‘ultra-Orthodox abuse’

By Zafrir Rinat October 26, 2010

The Haredi community of Kiryat Ye’arim (Telzstone), near Abu Ghosh, is seeking to expand from a town of 4,000 into a city of 20,000. The plan has drawn fierce opposition from environmentalists and residents of nearby communities and villages, who fear their way of life would be threatened by an ultra-Orthodox city.

Haredim to get affordable housing in Tel Aviv?

By Yoav Zitun October 28, 2010

Members of the Tel Aviv City Council are discussing a motion put forward by councilman Binyamin Babayof (Shas) proposing the municipality provide financial support for haredi families settling in the Shapira and Kiryat Shalom neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv. The motion sparked outrage among the council’s various factions.

Of yeshiva stipends and angry voters

By Yossi Verter October 29, 2010

Only Shas Chairman Eli Yishai joined Gafni’s festivities. Among the Shas heads, he is the only one who gets dragged along with the extremism of the Ashkenazim, time after time. They say that even Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had reservations about the bill.

Shas contains not only Yishai’s camp, but also a camp of others such as Ariel Atias and Meshulam Nahari. They don’t believe Shas should position itself as an ultra-Haredi party. Most of its voters are not yeshiva students, after all.

Ultra-Orthodox and online

By Yair Ettinger October 29, 2010

Today Behadrei Haredim has a staff of 30 regular reporters (including two women) and 20 freelancers, and it will soon debut a revamped design and a new user agreement for surfers.

But the most important change is that the group of rabbis who indirectly authorized the operation of the site demanded – and received – the right to have a representative on the premises with the power to red-pencil any content they deem problematic.

Three people detained for trying to extort leading rabbi over $600,000 donation gone missing

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring October 26, 2010

One of the suspects, an ultra-Orthodox benefactor living in the United States, claims that five years ago he gave a $600,000 donation to a man named Haim Cohen, a well-known Givatayim rabbi.

3 held for trying to extort Bnei Brak rabbi

By Yaakov Lappin October 26, 2010

In a bizarre twist, the source said, the US donor himself is suspected of being a part of the extortion plot, after he allegedly told the rabbi that the two suspects were linked to underworld elements, and that it would be “in his best interest” to pay the amount they demanded. The rabbi facing the threats then contacted police.

‘Hotel waiters’ arrest rabbi blackmailers

By Eli Senyor October 25, 2010

This odd case began a few weeks back, when a Jewish millionaire living in New York wanted to know what happened to his $600,000 donation he had given a well know religious personality in the ultra-Orthodox sector in Bnei Brak. When he arrived in Israel and was not welcomed by the religious personality, he began worrying about what might have happened to his money.

Israel: Bill to ban fur gets fuzzy — but also gets Pamela Anderson

By Batsheva Sobelman October 28, 2010

Well, it’s not every day that an ultra-Orthodox Jew gets a personal letter from a Playboy cover girl, but in this case there’s a perfectly good explanation.

Pamela Anderson, expected to descend on Israel in full glory next week for the new season of the local version of Dancing With the Stars, is joining the local move to ban fur.

Shas Yishai calls on rabbis to fight school segregation

By Yair Ettinger October 28, 2010

The Immanuel school-segregation affair may feature less prominently in the public discourse than it did earlier this year, but instances of ethnic discrimination within the ultra-Orthodox community continue to emerge.

Ultra-Orthodox slam supervision of education content

By Kobi Nahshoni October 25, 2010

The decisions made in the meeting included the following: a) Only leading rabbis will have the authority to determine education arrangements in Torah studies and in all educational institutes b) Principals of Torah studies must not agree to any change in the educational framework.

Dozens protest for and against Haredi school in Kfar Yona

By Raanan Ben-Zur October 25, 2010

Dozens of residents of town of Kfar Yona, in the Sharon region, are protesting for and against the establishment of a haredi school in a secular neighborhood.

Secular, religious students to study civics together

By Tomer Velmer October 28, 2010

A new Education Ministry program will have secular and religious high school students studying together for the civics matriculation exam and working on their final papers together. The students will be directed by teachers from both sectors.

High schools will have a choice whether to take part in the program, which was successfully tested in northern schools last year.

Taking a leading role

By Gail Lichtman October 29, 2010

‘How far we have come. I, who was spurned for my feminist views, now see these very views recognized and even funded by the Education Ministry,” observes Prof. Alice Shalvi, one of the founding mothers of the Israel Women’s Network and former principal of the pioneering Orthodox feminist Pelech Girls’ High School in Jerusalem.

Shalvi was commenting on the Education Ministry’s decision to designate a Jerusalem Orthodox girls’ high school as an experimental school charged with developing an Orthodox feminist curriculum for the state religious school system.

Trans-Israel Highway, Ultra-Orthodox and Burial

By Daniella Ashkenazy


Click here for VIDEO

Shas spiritual leader may back ban on renting to Arabs

By Chaim Levinson and Jack Khoury October 29, 2010

Days after a group of rabbis urged Safed residents not to rent apartments to Arabs, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reiterated a 500-year-old halakhic ruling barring the sale of land in the Land of Israel to non-Jews – a move that appeared to be a show of support for the other rabbis.

…According to Yosef, this has been understood to mean barring the sale of land to non-Jews, based on an interpretation by Rabbi Yosef Caro, the 16th-century author of the codification of Jewish law, the Shulhan Arukh.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef did not, however, explicitly address the issue of renting apartments to non-Jews.

Arab students attacked in Safed October 29, 2010

About two weeks ago, the town’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, and other prominent rabbis called not to rent or sell apartments to non-Jews.

The rabbis also held what they called an “emergency gathering” whose speakers said the college was enabling the influx because most of its students are Arabs.

Rabbi Ovadia : Selling homes to non-Jews prohibited

By Kobi Nahshoni October 28, 2010

“The words were perceived by those who were present as normal discussion of the halacha, and not within a context of current events,” said one student who did not want to be identified.

Maimonides Ascends the Temple Mount October 14, 2010

Ramat Gan chooses green over God

By Noah Kosharek October 27, 2010

Ramat Gan residents appear to have won their battle this week to keep the mayor from replacing a neighborhood pocket park with a synagogue.

No yarmulkes allowed in Jordan

By Ronen Medzini October 28, 2010

It has been a while since Israelis entering Jordan were first required to deposit items of a Jewish-religious nature in order to cross the border for “security reasons.” Most recently, Israelis have been asked to removes their yarmulkes.

Mezuzah for the Ambassador

By Raphael Ahren October 29, 2010

Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and Rabbi Isaac Shapira last Friday affixed mezuzahs on the doorposts of U.K. Ambassador Matthew Gould’s Ramat Gan residence. It was the first time mezuzahs were affixed to the residence of the British ambassador to Israel.

Religion and State in Israel

November 1, 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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