Hiddush will work to implement the basic values guaranteed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence
Uri Regev launching Hiddush at the Hall of Independence in Tel Aviv 14.11.09. Photography: Limor Edery
Hiddush is committed to the advancement of “freedom of religion and conscience” and “full social and political equality without distinction on the basis of religion”, as promised in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Hiddush believes that fully realizing the promise of religious freedom will strengthen Israel both as a democracy and as a Jewish state, and will bolster Jewish Peoplehood and Israel/Diaspora relationships.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence promises religious freedom and equality to all of its citizens. Today, however, the lack of religious freedom and equality resonates throughout Israeli society. It impacts virtually all of the domestic issues—security, economic growth, education, gender equality, access to quality health care and social services, and poverty--that are essential to Israel’s well-being and vibrancy as the home of the Jewish People. Israelis are deprived of the personal freedom to choose how to conduct life cycle events--marriage, divorce, burial. Women and other population groups -- Russian immigrants in particular -- are being discriminated against in the name of religious observance.
In addition, as the ultra-orthodox population continues to grow, participation in the workforce and service in the military is not keeping pace with this rate of growth, thus threatening both Israel’s economy and security. Over 80% of Israeli Jews believe that the consequences of this religious/secular divide constitute the most serious domestic threat to Israel today.
Hiddush was established on the eve of Rosh Hashanah 2009 as an NGO dedicated to promoting religious freedom and equality as guaranteed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence by raising awareness and mobilizing support for these key components of a democratic civil society. Hiddush is a non-denominational, non-partisan Israel-Diaspora partnership uniting people across political and religious spectrums to take action against these inequities and resolve this challenge. Hiddush’s strategy includes mobilizing grassroots support among Israelis and world Jewry, serving as a resource for policy makers and the media, and raising public awareness about the critical nature of this failure, which threatens the very survival of Israel. Hiddush’s work is rooted in our commitment to and deep love for Israel and the belief that fully realizing the promise of religious freedom will strengthen Israel as a democracy and a Jewish state, and will go far in building affinity and commitment to Israel among world Jewry.
Hiddush’s programs include:
• public advocacy;
• education of and consultation with policy makers; research and polling; coalition building;
• legal support for victims of religious discrimination;
• communication and information dissemination through social media in Hebrew and English unique action and news-oriented, content-rich website, and position papers, reports and unbiased educational materials dedicated to the broad spectrum of issues concerning religion and state.
Hiddush - Freedom of Religion for Israel, Inc. is a charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization