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Conversion bill to reject all conversions outside of Israel's Rabbinate

Conversion bill to reject all conversions outside of Israel's Rabbinate

A measure submitted earlier this month by the Interior Ministry led by Rabbi Aryeh Deri, head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, is a blatant effort to circumvent a March 2016 Supreme Court ruling that allowed those undergoing private Orthodox conversions in Israel to become citizens under the Law of Return.


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Stepping up Hiddush's legal advocacy

Stepping up Hiddush's legal advocacy

With key governmental ministries controlled by the ultra-Orthodox and Zionist Orthodox parties, and with these elements in the Coalition dictating their wills to the Government even beyond the sphere of their ministerial portfolios, there is a growing need for legal advocacy work to challenge inequity and illegal practices (some new and some lingering). Hiddush has been stepping up its legal advocacy work in response to this need; the following are just a few examples:

Politicians and Shabbat – this is not the way!

Politicians and Shabbat – this is not the way!

Shabbat appears in the Ten Commandments twice; once anchored in Divine Creation and once in the context of social justice, concern for society’s weak.

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.

62% of Israelis support women's Torah reading at Western Wall

62% of Israelis support women's Torah reading at Western Wall

Following the Supreme Court’s issuance of a Show Cause Order to the Government regarding the prohibition against women’s Torah readings at the Western Wall: Among secular Israelis 86% expressed their support, as did 61% of the traditional Jewish community.

The growing challenge to religious freedom and equality

The growing challenge to religious freedom and equality

The ultra-Orthodox parties, joined by a number of key members of other Coalition parties, to put an end to the prospects of greater opportunities for Women's and egalitarian worship practices at the Western Wall plaza.

Bill would anchor Orthodox practice in law at the Western Wall

Bill would anchor Orthodox practice in law at the Western Wall

Lawmakers from Shas and United Torah Judaism, as well as Likud’s Oren Hazan, David Amsalem and Miki Zohar and Jewish Home’s Betzalel Smotrich, Moti Yogev, and Nissan Slomianksy, have endorsed the proposed legislation, officially lodged on Sunday, that would anchor Orthodox practice in law throughout the entire Western Wall vicinity.

2016 Israel Religion and State Index - by party voters

2016 Israel Religion and State Index - by party voters

In Israel's Jewish community there is very broad opposition to the Government's actions in realm of religion & state and consistent support for all aspects of religious freedom and equality. This is the main conclusion of the Israel Religion & State Index.

The ‘Muezzin Bill’ – a masquerade

The ‘Muezzin Bill’ – a masquerade

It's the Litzmans and Deris of the religious Jewish leadership that have never hesitated to deny these very freedoms to fellow Jews and non-Jews whenever they have had the political ability to do so.

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chair stoops even lower!

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chair stoops even lower!

The Jewish Federations of North America convened their General Assembly earlier this week, and impressed upon Prime Minister Netanyahu how strongly they feel about implementing the Western Wall Agreement that his Government reached with Women of the Wall, and the Reform and Conservative movements. While the Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to the agreement, but pleaded to them for patience & silence, MK David Amsalem, a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee, attempted to sabotage the agreement because it offends his religious sentiments. In doing so he had no compunction acknowledging that this would offend American Jewry.

Sukkot 2016: Batya Kahana Dror, Esq.

Sukkot 2016: Batya Kahana Dror, Esq.

Batya Kahana Dror, Esq. writes, "Getting married via the Rabbinate is not fitting for all couples. Sometimes this clashes with their worldviews, and sometimes it creates bureaucratic difficulties in simply obtaining the Rabbinate's permission to marry at all. Divorcing through the Rabbinate is also more difficult."

Sukkot 2016: Rabbi Meir Azari

Sukkot 2016: Rabbi Meir Azari

Rabbi Meir Azari writes, "The recent years have seen a blossoming of Reform communities, Conservative, secular and the like, situated between what an Israeli would refer to as Orthodox and secular. Many are seeking a Jewish voice for good and equality."

Sukkot 2016: Tehila Friedman-Nachalon

Sukkot 2016: Tehila Friedman-Nachalon

Tehila Friedman-Nachalon writes, "The battles that Hiddush sees as battles for "religious freedom," I perceive as battles over the substance and understanding of the 'Jewish' in 'Jewish and democratic.'"

Sukkot 2016: Prof. Pinchas Shiffman

Sukkot 2016: Prof. Pinchas Shiffman

Professor Pinchas Shiffman writes, "The problem facing stringent religious Judaism is whether to accept a person who lives among us and truly wants to be a Jew, but does intend to be religious. This person's rejection reinforces the split between Jews according to religion and Jews according to nationality."

Sukkot 2016: Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq.

Sukkot 2016: Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq.

Smadar Dekel Naim, Esq. writes, "There is no reason whatsoever to be party to this religious coercion, especially at this most precious, family-oriented moment, and in the most personal of matters. Why should we hold non-egalitarian ceremonies, with rabbis who don't identify with our ways of life? Many of whom actually despise us?"

Sukkot 2016: Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg

Sukkot 2016: Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg

Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg writes, "I don't want to be a Torah observant woman that is a guest in Israel's Jewish arena because she is not a man. It is expected that she will not participate, that she will remain behind the mehitza, at the back of the bus."

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