Religion and State in Israel – October 17, 2011 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 17, 2011 (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.

Israel High Court upholds ban on Sukkot gender segregation in Jerusalem

By Oz Rosenberg October 16, 2011

The High Court of Justice upheld a ban on gender segregation in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood on Sunday.

During this year’s Sukkot celebrations, police gave ultra-Orthodox leaders of Mea She’arim’s Toldos Aharon community permission to erect a barrier dividing the street by gender, despite the fact that, last year, the High Court ordered community leaders to revoke the segregation they imposed on women on Sukkot.

…The High Court has now ordered that this will be the last year that police can permit the erection of such a barrier.

High Court: Take down gender-separation barrier in J’lem

By Jeremy Sharon October 16, 2011

Rachel Azaria:

“In the public domain there is one law for everyone,” she told the Jerusalem Post. “If people want to be extreme in their own homes then that’s fine but the if this radicalization spreads to public places it is unacceptable.

“This kind of separation is humiliating for women. Whether it’s being confined to the back of the buses or being told to use alternative streets, and it is women who are having to deal with the take-over of religion by extremists.

Moreover, women in the Haredi community are afraid to speak out for fear of being ostracized and this is why the state needs to step in.”

High Court outlaws sex segregation partitions in Haredi area

By Aviad Glickman October 16, 2011

The court ordered the appointment of a special liaison between the police and the residents to address complaints concerning the issue.

‘Stop sex segregation on Haredi street’

By Kobi Nahshoni October 16, 2011

Jerusalem Council Member Rachel Azaria petitioned the High Court of Justice on Friday against the Israel Police and Jerusalem Municipality, which she said were allowing extreme ultra-Orthodox elements to illegally impose sex segregation on the streets of Mea Shearim during the holiday of Sukkot.

Azaria claims that the sex segregation in a public space, by “ushers acting like a sort of militia,” seriously violates the dignity, freedom and freedom of movement of the passersby, and dishonors the court, which accepted the claim on this matter last year and ordered the police to fulfill their duty and enforce the law.

Mea She’arim to ban women from certain Jerusalem streets during Sukkot

By Oz Rosenberg October 11, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox community in Mea She’arim is planning to impose gender segregation in the Jerusalem neighborhood’s streets on Sukkot, despite a High Court order forbidding it.

“This year will be the the same as last year,” a senior ultra-Orthodox official told Haaretz.

“We’re not doing it to harm women. 15,000 men are coming and 1,500 women, so we’re simply moving the women to Shivtei Yisrael Street, from which they will enter the women’s section,” an ultra-Orthodox official told Haaretz.

Haredi group tries to bar woman from street on Succot

By Jeremy Sharon October 12, 2011

The Free Israel movement, which lobbies against the imposition of religious standards on public life, sent letters to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Jerusalem district police commander Nissan Shaham calling on them “to take the necessary steps to prevent gender segregation this year,” and threatened to take the issue to court if such moves were not forthcoming.

Israeli court separates church from state

By Anne Barker October 11, 2011

Click here for AUDIO interview

Irit Rosenblum is a lawyer at a non-government organisation New Family – which campaigns for family rights.

She says not only could civil marriage soon become routine in Israel, it may also force amendments to laws for example on surrogacy or sperm donation.


Right now what we’re doing for example in cases of “surrogation” and the donors are non-Jews, the surrogate mothers are non-Jews, we have to convert the children for Judaism because we define each person by his religion.

VIDEO: Secularism struggle


Click here for VIDEO

I refuse to get married in Israel

By Yehonatan Opinion October 10, 2011

I wasn’t scared of moving in together with Shira, after only a few months into our relationship, it felt like the right thing to do.

I wasn’t scared of the commitment of adopting a dog together only two days after we moved in – that too felt like the right thing to do.

I wasn’t scared of meeting her family, her friends or her colleagues, nor was I scared of kneeling down and proposing to her – that too felt like the right thing to do.

Telling my mother that we’re not planning on getting officially married – now that was scary.

Chinese Jews feel more at home in Israel

By Benjamin Haas October 16, 2011

Because the community intermarried and based Jewishness on patrilineal heritage rather than matrilineal, the norm in Judaism, Kaifeng Jews who want to move to Israel need to undergo Orthodox conversions under Israeli law.

The process takes a year or more of study at an Orthodox yeshiva, and requires a final examination before a rabbinical court.

Jin was brought to Israel with three others from her hometown by Shavei Israel specifically to begin the conversion process. Once converted, she was eligible to remain in Israel under the country’s Law of Return.

Lulavim and Etrogim Sent from Jerusalem to Manipur October 12, 2011

The Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India will celebrate Sukkot this year thanks to the support of the Shavei Israel organization, which sent hundreds of sets of Lulavim and Etrogim from Israel to India prior to the onset of the holiday.

For my children

By Emily Bernstein Opinion October 12, 2011

I chose to live in a country where even when I marry a Jewish man, I cannot have an official wedding and my children will not be recognized as Jewish for many governmental purposes. Challenges, that no matter how deeply I identify as Jewish, the current Israeli conversion process will complicate.

Confident in my Judaism and my beliefs, I am willing to go through the motions of a state-sponsored conversion process. However, I simply cannot guarantee that after completing the conversion process I will maintain a religiously observant lifestyle – a factor that can retroactively void both my Jewish status and that of my future children.

See also: Bring us into equation

When Down children grow up

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich October 15, 2011

The Jerusalem Post was recently invited by Yated director-general Ada Oz to its first-ever tour of Jerusalem and lunch for seven Down couples from all over – who are living together and/or married by lawyers or by the Conservative and Reform movements in Israel.

Unfortunately, with extremely rare exceptions, the Orthodox rabbinical establishment – the official Chief Rabbinate and haredi rabbis – has ignored the issue and refuse to perform weddings of Down syndrome adults.

…Sneh and Oz bemoaned the fact that the religious establishment considers adults with the syndrome as having the status of shoteh or mental disability (developmentally and with serious psychiatric disorders), which means they cannot get married according to Jewish law.

Some rabbis won’t even include them in a minyan, the quorum of ten men required for some prayers.

Most of the couples, said Oz, wanted to have a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and official state recognition but they are denied this.

We are a people

By Shlomo Avineri Opinion October 12, 2011

Nusseibeh argues that defining Israel as a Jewish state would mean that it is either a theocracy (if the definition is in religious terms ) or an apartheid state (if the definition is ethnic), and hence not a democracy.

This is totally wrong: Israel views itself today as a Jewish state, and even if this puts the Arab minority in a difficult position (it would be cavalier to deny this), it does not deny them equal political and civic rights.

Israel Should Listen to American Jews, Too

By J.J. Goldberg Opinion October 14, 2011

Most discussions of American Jewish attitudes toward Israel revolve around the question of whether or not American Jews — or, in the latest twist, American rabbis — are sufficiently concerned about Israel. Are they identified with its needs? Fearful for its safety?

Dichter turns the question around. Following a tour of American Jewish communities last spring, he asks in an October 5 op-ed for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA): Are Israelis sufficiently concerned about American Jews?

Jokes my grandfather told me

By Daniel Gordis Opinion October 14, 2011

The writer is President of the Shalem Foundation and Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

[W]hat we are witness to is a shift in emphasis from the particular to the universal, from an instinct that worries first about Israel’s need to survive to one in which Israel’s social flaws are paramount.

Understanding this shift requires lengthy qualitative interviews, not the sort of questionnaire that we (yes, I was also polled, though I didn’t participate) were sent via e-mail so that results could be compiled quickly.

The stakes for the Jewish people are too high for us to pretend to have learned what we have not yet even studied.

Jewish Agency to hold annual meeting in Buenos Aires

By Gil Shefler October 11, 2011

The Jewish Agency for Israel’s board of governors will convene in Argentina next month between November 14 and 16.

Officials said the purpose of holding the event in the South American country is aimed at strengthening ties between Israel and the local Jewish community and battling local anti-Semitism.

Hallelujah contest final and documentary to air

By Hannah Brown October 10, 2011

The final for the Hallelujah Jewish song competition – a combination of American Idol, Eurovision, Glee, a Birthright tour and an Israeli sing-along – will be broadcast on October 12 on Channel One at 8:15 p.m.

A long list of organizations worked together to sponsor this contest, among them the Foreign Ministry, the Jewish Agency, MASA, the Ramat Hasharon municipality, The Jewish Agency, Beit Hatfutsot, Nativ, IDF Education Corp, and Taglit, along with Limor Livnat, the minister of Culture and Sport.

Innovating Jewishly

By Justin Korda Opinion October 15, 2011

Taglit-Birthright Israel does not merely transform its participants – it transforms communities.

Once these same young Jews began to return to their home communities, full of enthusiasm about their time in Israel, the organized Jewish world had to figure out how to engage a population for whom the one-size-fits-all packages no longer fit.

This challenged communities to reach out to this increasingly diverse and niche-driven generation.

A Post-Zionist World Zionist Organisation – It just ain’t so

By David Breakstone Opinion October 15, 2011

Isi Liebler’s recent piece asserting that it was time for the World Zionist Organization to disband (A Post-Zionist World Zionist Organisation, Oct. 10) was completely off the mark.

…To begin with, let me state in the most explicit way possible that I was as mortified by the JTA piece as was Mr. Liebler.

It totally distorted the educational concept behind the Herzl Journey, completely misrepresented the impact of the experience which was thoroughly Zionist by any standards Mr. Liebler might apply, and did a terrible disservice to the participants in the program, who are themselves youth leaders engaged in a wide variety of social action projects in Israel.

See: A post-Zionist WZO

Religion and State in Israel

October 17, 2011 (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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