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Growing frictions between religion and state in Israel

Growing frictions between religion and state in Israel

Israel's Supreme Court has handed down two decisions that demonstrate the critical importance of an independent civil judiciary, but the Government Coalition continues to capitulate to the ultra-Orthodox political parties.


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Theocratic rejection of Israel's civil judiciary

Theocratic rejection of Israel's civil judiciary

The theocratic forces among Israel's political and religious leadership have been increasingly aggressive of late, pushing to expand the jurisdiction of Israel's rabbinical courts, at the expanse of Israel's civil courts. A key element of this theocratic outlook is the rejection of the legitimacy of Israel’s laws and civil judiciary.

90% dissatisfied with rabbinical courts' dealings with Agunot

90% dissatisfied with rabbinical courts' dealings with Agunot

90% of the adult Jewish public is dissatisfied with the Israeli Rabbinical Courts' way of dealing with Agunot and women whose husbands refuse to grant them divorces. 87% believe that the rabbinical courts should force husbands to grant their wives divorces in cases of domestic violence. Measuring which institutions the public trusts most, 59% of respondents trust the Supreme Court, but only 16% most trust the Rabbinate, 13% - the Knesset and 12% - the Government!

A shocking Rabbinic Court ruling regarding a battered wife

A shocking Rabbinic Court ruling regarding a battered wife

Hiddush has repeatedly challenged the continued monopoly of the Chief Rabbinate and rabbinic courts over matters of personal status of all Jews in Israel. Last week, we saw one of the most shocking and deplorable examples of why this authority should urgently be withdrawn.

Landmark Supreme Court cases emblematic of Israel's religion-state divide

Landmark Supreme Court cases emblematic of Israel's religion-state divide

This week has been very busy on the legal front of religious freedom & equality in Israel. In many ways, it has been symptomatic of the intensity and diversity of the many issues confronting Israel along the religion-state divide.

Hiddush's 2016 findings and data on marriage

Hiddush's 2016 findings and data on marriage

In the past year, Hiddush focused on the battle for marriage freedom in Israel as our leading cause, conducting a comprehensive series of surveys and studies that highlighted a clear trend: the Israeli Jewish public supports marriage freedom.

Supreme Court rules on illegal writs of refusal from rabbinical court

Supreme Court rules on illegal writs of refusal from rabbinical court

The Supreme Court required the Attorney General's office to decide soon whether or not to file charges against the judges of the private, ultra-Orthodox rabbinical court who issued an excommunication notice to a Haredi resident Elad who are also suspected of blackmail, threatening private citizens, and obstruction of justice.

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein's degrading experience

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein's degrading experience

If we needed any further reminder that the issue of "Who is a Jew" hits directly home in North America, the recent news regarding the refusal of the Israeli Rabbinic courts to accept Rabbi Haskel Lookstein's conversions is the most recent case in point.

64% unaware that legal divorce available only via Orthodox rabbinical courts

64% unaware that legal divorce available only via Orthodox rabbinical courts

Two-thirds of the Jewish Israeli population are unaware that Jewish couples can only get legally divorced through Israel's rabbinical courts, even if they were married in civil ceremonies abroad; 57% of the public underestimate the number of Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union who cannot get legally married.

Politics casts shadow over encouraging legal progress & public opinion

Politics casts shadow over encouraging legal progress & public opinion

Hiddush derives encouragement from developments on the fronts of public opinion and the legal arena, but on the political scene, the news is more bleak than encouraging when it comes to issues of religious freedom & equality.

75% support introduction of civil divorce in Israel

75% support introduction of civil divorce in Israel

Head of Hiddush Rabbi Uri Regev, esq.: "The no-confidence vote against the Orthodox establishment's monopoly is tremendous." Director of the Center for Women's Justice Dr. Susan Weiss, esq.: "The solution to the agunah crisis - civil marriage and divorce." CEO of Mavoi Satum Batya Kahana-Dror, Esq.: "Alienation from Israel's religious institutions is growing."

71% of Israeli Jews: Rabbinate's monopoly distances Jews from Judaism

71% of Israeli Jews: Rabbinate's monopoly distances Jews from Judaism

Not only is the denial of the freedom to marry antithetical to core democratic principles, but it also undermines Jewish interests. 71% of the Israeli Jewish public maintain that the Chief Rabbinate's and the rabbinical courts' monopoly over marriage and divorce distances Jews from Judaism.

Supreme Court hears Hiddush petition against coercive rabbinical court

Supreme Court hears Hiddush petition against coercive rabbinical court

Justice Mazuz: “The ‘Writs of Refusal’ are intended to deny a person his rights as a man and a citizen by blocking his/her way to State institutions (i.e. - the courts) that can render him remedy in realizing his rights.”

Israel's High Court Unanimously Agrees with Hiddush

Israel's High Court Unanimously Agrees with Hiddush

November 12 marked a major, promising step in our battles that will surely become a landmark legal case on the road to ensuring Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state. Privately issued "writs of refusal" excommunicating those who turn to Israel's legal system for justice are illegal - the private rabbinical courts continue acting illegally in defiance of the law.

Israel's circumcision controversy: an opportunity for change

Israel's circumcision controversy: an opportunity for change

Until Israel's Supreme Court intervened, an Israeli mother was fined $150 by Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Court of Appeals for every day she did not circumcise her son. The case is not over yet and serves as a key indicator of the growing influence of Israel's rabbinical courts.

Unfolding circumcision controversy makes the case for civil marriage and divorce in Israel

Unfolding circumcision controversy makes the case for civil marriage and divorce in Israel

In light of the recent developments in Israel's circumcision controversy, Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev points out that this dispute could be easily handled outside of the rabbinical courts if civil marriage and divorce were allowed for Israelis.

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