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Three battle fronts: The Kotel, Conversion, and Shabbat

Three battle fronts: The Kotel, Conversion, and Shabbat

Israel's religion and state conflict is viewed as a key component of shaping Israel's path. Recent days have provided us with a good cross section of the scope, depth, motivations, impact, and potential consequences of this ongoing saga.


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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."

2016 Religion & State Index: the Zionist Orthodox sector

2016 Religion & State Index: the Zionist Orthodox sector

Should Israeli actualize freedom of religion and conscience? - 95% of Zionist Orthodox moderates support this, as do 62% of mainstream Orthodox Zionists and 53% of Zionist ultra-Orthodox Israelis. The Index reflects the Government's total disregard for the public's will, but shows signs of hope within the moderate Zionist Orthodox community.

2016 Religion & State Index: freedom of marriage

2016 Religion & State Index: freedom of marriage

A revolution: About half of the Jewish public would prefer not to get married via the monopolistic, state empowered Chief Rabbinate

The 2016 Israel Religion & State Index

The 2016 Israel Religion & State Index

81% of Israeli Jews are dissatisfied with the Government's activities in the realm of religion & state; 66% support the Kotel compromise; 66% support freedom of marriage; 4 out of 5 secular Jews do not want to marry via the Orthodox Rabbinate.

Reaction to the death of Shimon Peres (1923-2016)

Reaction to the death of Shimon Peres (1923-2016)

Hiddush President Stanley Gold knew President Shimon Peres z"l for over 30 years. He recalls a lunch date in Israel with Mr. Peres about 10 years ago.

In memory of President Shimon Peres z

In memory of President Shimon Peres z"l

Hiddush lovingly remembers President Shimon Peres z"l (1923-2016), a true Israeli hero and champion of civil rights.

The AJC-JPost surveys of American & Israeli Jews on pluralism in Israel

The AJC-JPost surveys of American & Israeli Jews on pluralism in Israel

A significant development in the arena of religion and state is a recent study conducted by the Jerusalem Post and the AJC of U.S. and Israeli Jewish public opinion, which was published last Friday. Following is Hiddush's analysis:

The number of unmarried couples living together up by 29%

The number of unmarried couples living together up by 29%

Over the course of two years, the number of unmarried couples living together in Israel increased dramatically by 28%, or nearly 20,000 couples. During this same period, the number of Jewish couples who got married in Israel fell by 6.5%. These are the findings of Hiddush's analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics data.

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.

An open letter to Natan Sharansky

An open letter to Natan Sharansky

Mr. Sharansky, you praised the rabbinate for “connecting the Jewish state with Judaism.” Sadly, you are wrong, for the monopolistic and coercive rabbinate is alienating Israeli Jews from Judaism.

62% support right of non-Orthodox converts to use mikva'ot

62% support right of non-Orthodox converts to use mikva'ot

86% of Israel's secular Jewish population support this right, but 91% of the ultra-Orthodox population is opposed. Hiddush VP Shahar Ilan: "This Knesset vote was nothing less than spitting in the face of world Jewry. The best way to predict the Government Coalition's course of action on matters of religion and state is to poll the Israeli public and assume that the Coalition will do exactly the opposite."

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