Religion and State in Israel – April 18, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

April 18, 2011 (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.

Education Minister Sa’ar: Part-time yeshiva students to also receive stipends

By Jonah Mandel April 12, 2011

Part-time kollel students will from now on be eligible for a government allowance, after Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Tuesday signed a new regulation to this effect.

Until now, only full-time kollel students met the criteria for the state funding.

…the Masorti (Conservative) Movement was supportive of Sa’ar’s new directive.

Yeshiva students to combine work, Torah studies

By Kobi Nahshoni April 12, 2011

The new regulation applies to yeshiva students who are exempt from military service alone. According to Education Ministry data half of yeshiva students are exempt.

Half-time yeshiva study brings state stipend

By Lior Dattel April 13, 2011

Until now, the [yeshiva students] had to study 35 hours a week to receive government financial support, worth NIS 819 a month. Now they can receive a reduced stipend – about NIS 410 a month – if they study 18 hours.

Thou shalt not work

By Nati Tucker April 13, 2011

Coverage of the ultra-Orthodox community in the general media includes penetrating criticism of their failure to do military service, their low employment rate, and religious coercion. The Haredi press presents the opposite picture: firm defense of the community’s principles and a strict preservation of its lifestyle.

The ultra-Orthodox press is in effect the Haredi tribal campfire that fervently fulfills its role – to block reform and changes in the community’s way of life.

Jobless ultra-Orthodox weigh on Israel’s economy

By Maayan Lubell April 14, 2011

Professor Dan Ben-David, an economist at Tel-Aviv University and head of the Taub Center for Social Policy Research, has been studying for years the extent of Haredi benefits, such as child allowances, housing subsidies and scholarships.

“The true amount is concealed, veiled in misleading budget definitions. We are shocked each time we get an inkling of its magnitude, but it has to be huge if it allows one of the highest unemployment rates in the Western world,” Ben-David said.

91.9% of Haredi students will not receive a matriculation diploma

Half of students won’t receive diplomas

By Tomer Velmer April 12, 2011

According to data collected by the ministry, 51.7% of all students will not qualify for a diploma, 35.4% of these Jewish. Among non-Jews the situation is far direr, and of all haredi students, 91.9% will not receive a diploma.

Public thinks rabbis worsen Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Jonah Mandel April 16, 2011

According to the findings, 42 percent of Israeli Jews surveyed maintained that rabbis worsened the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while 14% thought that rabbis improved things, and 29% believed they had no effect.

Of secular Jews, 63% believed rabbis only made things worse with the Palestinians, while 7% thought they played a positive role in resolving the conflict.

Regarding relations between Arabs and Jews within Israel, 45% of Israeli Jews believed religion distanced the sides, while only 6% thought it could bring the sides closer, and 38% thought it had no effect.

Religious school expels beauty queen

By Tomer Velmer April 13, 2011

A principal of a state religious school in central Israel has expelled a student for taking part in a local beauty pageant and winning the contest.

Maayan Mader, an outstanding student and a representative of the school’s student council, decided to sign up for a beauty pageant in the city of Gedera about two months ago, after ensuring that the contest did not include swimsuits or provocative clothing.

When Religious Girls Become Beauty Queens

By Elana Maryles Sztokman Opinion April 15, 2011

Maayan Madar’s principal should not see Madar’s clothing as a rejection of religion but should see Madar’s beauty queen aspiration as a failure of her own educational system.

Rather than expel a student for succeeding in what she set out to do, the school should be asking itself why this was her goal, why this is the best value system she came out with in terms of girls’ roles in society, why her teachers were unable to transmit an image of religious womanhood that was more attractive than becoming a beauty queen.

This is a failure of the religious education system — and actually the entire Israeli education system — and a victory for superficiality, for the reality television-high fashion culture from which the religious community is hardly immune or exempt.

300 Goats and Sheep, 20 Slaughterers, One Willful Rabbi

By Nathan Jeffay April 13, 2011

Making Seder for the extended family seems like child’s play compared with Rabbi Yehudah Glick’s Passover preparations. The New York-born Glick is getting ready to lead world Jewry in a Paschal sacrifice April 18, the first night of Passover.

…So with the backing of some influential rabbis, he has contracted farmers to provide him with 300 sheep and goats for the sacrifice, should the Messiah arrive.

He also put 20 slaughterers on standby; and, for those who wish to take part, but who live outside Jerusalem, he made Seder-night accommodations within walking distance of the Old City.

Rabbinic Dispute over Temple Mount April 12, 2011

Advertisements in several of the weekly Torah pamphlets distributed in the religious-Zionist community on the Sabbath called on readers not to ascend the Temple Mount. Ascending the mount is forbidden by Torah law at this time, the ads said.

Poll: 82% of secular Israelis conduct Seder April 17, 2011

According to a social survey, 82% of seculars conduct the Seder, as do 93% of those who define themselves as “traditional but not so religious” and 98% of those who define themselves as “religious traditional.”

Akko Chief Rabbi asks Arabs not to sell chametz

By Yaffa Baranes April 15, 2011

Akko’s Chief Rabbi Yosef Yashar has asked the imam of the al-Jazar Mosque, Sheikh Samir Asi, to instruct Arab business owners in the Old City to avoid selling chametz (leavened food) to Jews during the Passover holiday. The sheikh has agreed to do so.

PODCAST: Against the Grain

By Sarah Ivri April 15, 2011

In Israel, milk and eggs are kosher for Passover only when produced by livestock that ischametz-free. A dairy farmer explains how the holiday alters his routine.

Click here for PODCAST

PODCAST: Reporter Daniel Estrin went on a tour of a dairy farm outside Jerusalem to find just what this entails.

Efrat rabbi tilts against Passover food restrictions for Ashkenazi Jews

By Raphael Ahren April 15, 2011

Trying to ease the life of Ashkenazi Jews who observe the dietary laws of the upcoming Passover holiday, an American-born Orthodox rabbi recently issued a halakhic ruling expanding the menu of permitted food products during the weeklong holiday.

U.S. immigrants in Israeli Army find Passover homes away from home

By Michele Chabin, Religion News Service April 16, 2011

When Passover begins on Monday at sundown, Roxanne Fogelman, a 22-year-old Israeli combat medic, won’t be attending a seder at her family’s home in Oregon.

Instead Fogelman, who moved to Israel on her own in 2009 after visiting the country on a Birthright Israel youth program, will join 600 other “lone soldiers” for a communal holiday meal.

Holon Seder for 1,300 Ethiopian olim shoots for record

By Ruth Eglash April 14, 2011

The Immigrant Absorption Ministry will try to set a Guinness World Record on Monday night by organizing – together with charity Aviv Hatorah – the world’s largest Pessah Seder for some 1,300 recently arrived Ethiopian immigrants living in Tel Aviv.

Ethiopian immigrants set to celebrate their first Seder

By Ruth Eglash April 15, 2011

Gearing up to spend their first-ever Pessah in the Land of Israel, some 100 recently arrived Ethiopian immigrants gathered at the Jewish Agency-run absorption center in Mevaseret Zion, west of Jerusalem, on Thursday for a “mock” Seder to learn and understand some of the religious and cultural traditions of the festival of freedom.

Secular Jerusalemites pick up tips at seder workshop April 11, 2011

Late last week, around 40 secular Jerusalemites gathered at the Beit Avi Chai cultural center in the capital for a workshop on the seder.

“Passover has become a burdensome holiday for Israelis, the workshop’s leader, Prof. Avigdor Shinan, told the group. “The time has come to bring back the spirit of freedom,” said Shinan, a Bible expert at Hebrew University.

Foreign workers’ kids hold Seder April 14, 2011

Hillel Israel is marking this Passover in a special manner, highlighting the issues of freedom and liberty with those for whom these issues are relevant everyday.

The Biggest Seder in the World – in Israel

By David Lev April 13, 2011

What does it take to organize “the world’s biggest Passover seder?” 130 kilos of matza, 3,000 hard boiled eggs, 100 kilos of haroset (the apple/date/wine concoction used in the seder) – and 2,000 portions of gefilte fish.

That, at least, is what the Absorption Ministry thinks it needs in order to throw a seder for 1,300 members of Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant community, who live in the Tel Aviv area.

The Ministry is sponsoring the seder along with the “Aviv Hatorah” educational organization that operates in the Ethiopian community.

The festival of freedom? Not when you have a house to clean

By Tamar Rotem April 17, 2011

Neria-Ben Shahar is a granddaughter of Rabbi Moshe Neria, a major figure in religious Zionism, and with a pedigree like that – noblesse oblige. All her life she has alternately rebelled and submitted to him. For example, as a declared religious feminist who worships at an egalitarian synagogue, she wears ultra-Orthodox Zionist style clothing and head-coverings.

“I’m the first-born in the family. When I was a child, I never left the house during the Passover vacation. This was absolutely clear. I had to do nearly everything.”

VIDEO: In Israel, even the cows eat “Kosher for Pesach”

April 17, 2011

Click here for VIDEO


Arabs take care not to offend Jews with pitas over Pessah

By Jonah Mandel April 17, 2011

Arab pita bakers from around the Sea of Galilee and Israel’s northern Mediterranean coast will make every effort to not sell leavened bread (hametz) over Passover, following a meeting on Sunday with Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee Ayoub Kara (Likud) during which he asked that they be sensitive to the religious feelings of the Jews on their holiday of redemption and freedom.

Rabbinate sells chametz to Abu Ghosh resident April 17, 2011

The chametz of the State of Israel will legally belong to Ismail Abu Jabber Hussein of Abu Ghosh for the next week or so, after Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger. along with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, sold the chametz that was transferred to rabbis all over the country by Israelis who signed contracts with their local rabbinates, in a ceremony Sunday afternoon.

The Truth Unleavened: 90 Years of Passover Reporting Archives

Sharp drop seen in Israel matzah exports

By Tani Goldstein April 15, 2011

Are Diaspora Jews buying less matzot? Israel’s matzah exports totaled some $13 million in 2010 – an 18.5% drop compared to 2009, according to figures released by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI).

Strong shekel hits matza exports

By Yuval Azulai April 12, 2011

The Export Institute director Avi Hefetz said, “It turns out that the erosion in the shekel-dollar exchange rate has not passed over matza. Higher prices for flour and the fall in the shekel-dollar exchange rate affected matza exports to the US and the industry as a whole.”

Audio & Photo Essay: Bar Ilan University unveils rare Haggadot

By Mordechai I. Twersky April 13, 2011

Bar Ilan University’s has granted “Inside Israel” exclusive access to four, rare Haggadot among its Rare Book and Manuscript Collection.

The Haggadot, presented in the following audio slideshow, were chosen by David Benayem, the collection’s curator.

New book details how some kibbutz haggadot are different from all others

By Eli Ashkenazi April 14, 2011

The Passover haggadot compiled by the various kibbutzim make up the most important project of Jewish culture in Israel in the past 100 years

Religious Services Minister: Burn chametz in paper bags

By Kobi Nahshoni April 14, 2011

Minister of Religious Services Yakov Margi (Shas) is calling on the public to reduce to minimum the air pollution caused during the removal of chametz (leavened food) on the eve of Passover, and to avoid burning it in ways which are not environmentally friendly.

New at Kotel for Pesach: Mobility Scooter

By Gil Ronen April 15, 2011

This year, the Kotel Heritage Fund has decided to place an electric mobility scooter next to the bus station, to make it easier for the elderly and disabled to reach the Plaza.

Flight numbers up as Passover exodus begins

By Zohar Blumenkrantz April 15, 2011

The annual Passover holiday exodus commenced yesterday, with Ben Gurion International Airport experiencing twice the normal number of passengers.

Israel’s plan for next year’s school curriculum: Reinforcing Jewish and Zionist values

By Or Kashti April 14, 2011

The Education Ministry’s plan for the coming school year does not include civics, democratic values or Jewish-Arab coexistence, according to copies circulated among principals.

It states schools’ two main objectives are to reinforce Jewish and Zionist values, and to improve scholastic achievements, and instructs principals how to fulfill these goals.

Court rejects petition of 14-year-old wannabe rabbi

By Jonah Mandel April 14, 2011

The High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected the petition of Moshe Raziel Sharifi that the Chief Rabbinate be forced to check his ordination exam, so that he may be able to be ordained as a rabbi.

Chief Rabbi Metzger: Stop rabbi letters ‘trend’

By Kobi Nahshoni April 13, 2011

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has come out against the growing number of public letters signed by rabbis, saying they lead to disrespect towards rabbis.

Sarkozy awards Legion of Honor to former Israel Chief Rabbi Lau

By Gil Shefler April 14, 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday awarded the Legion of Honor – the country’s highest accolade – to Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Meir Lau for his efforts to promote interfaith dialogue, at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Israel Chief Rabbi Metzger says Obama must free Pollard if he wants another term April 17, 2011

The Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, told congregants in a Sabbath sermon that if U.S. President Barack Obama seeks reelection, he must release Jonathan Pollard, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

How Women’s Talmud Study Is Unique

By Michal Tukochinsky April 12, 2011

Michal Tukochinsky leads the Moshe Green Beit Midrash for Women at Beit Morasha of Jerusalem.

A quiet revolution is taking place in the second generation of women’s Torah study.

…When I recently sensed the need to reach for greater heights and start a women’s Halacha program, we established it at Beit Morasha of Jerusalem.

We did this not because of a feminist demand for women poskot (decisors), but because there were women who thirsted for this program in order to build a more complete Torah world for themselves. And with God’s help, there will be poskot, because the world needs them.

Bar-Ilan U. to offer B.A. in English

By Raphael Ahren April 15, 2011

Bar-Ilan University is launching a B.A. program taught entirely in English, thus becoming Israel’s first state university to offer an English-only undergraduate program, the Ramat Gan-based school announced yesterday.

Students will also be required to complete the equivalent of a minor in basic Jewish heritage courses, the university spokeswoman said.

Survey: Israeli Ethiopian students lag far behind other Jewish counterparts

By Or Kashti April 15, 2011

Significant gaps exist in achievement between students of Ethiopian origin and those of all students in the Jewish sector in standardized tests, a recent Education Ministry report revealed.

Rabbi Dov Lior: Recycle weekly Torah sheets

By Jonah Mandel April 15, 2011

Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior has ruled that the pages distributed in synagogues on Friday nights, dealing with the weekly Torah portion and other religious and social topics, should be recycled instead of buried in a repository (geniza).

Rabbi indicted for sexual assault

By Aviad Glickman April 12, 2011

An indictment was filed Tuesday by the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office against a well-known rabbi accused of sodomizing and performing an indecent act on his friend’s wife who was seeking his professional counseling.

Filmmaker-journalist says nails used to crucify Jesus discovered

By Nir Hasson April 13, 2011

And if Jacobovici is to be believed, these nails have the potential to cause a revolution in the way we view early Christianity, the Jewish religion from which Christianity emanated and the relationship between the two faiths.

Bahais unveil renovated shrine in Israel

By Matti Friedman AP April 12, 2011

Followers of the Bahai faith unveiled their newly renovated holy site on the coast of Israel on Tuesday, drawing attention to one of the Holy Land’s lesser-known religions.

The renovation of the Shrine of the Bab, a U.N.-designated World Heritage site, lasted two-and-a-half-years and cost $6 million dollars, according to the Bahai leadership.

Religion and State in Israel

April 18, 2011 (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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