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Mazal Tov from the Consul General of Israel in New York

Mazal Tov from the Consul General of Israel in New York

The New York Times reports that Consul General Dayan wrote: "it is no secret many members of the American Jewish community disagree with existing Israeli legislation on civil status issues... Ultimately the Israeli Knesset — elected democratically by the Israeli citizens — legislates.


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US Reform leadership meets with PM Netanyahu

US Reform leadership meets with PM Netanyahu

The Prime Minister must either stop the incitement against non-Orthodox Judaism from within his own government or sever his political alliance with those who wage war against world Jewry and block Netanyhu's own public commitment to ensure that all Jews feel at home in Israel.

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 Haredi Supreme Court Judge - What does that really mean?

A Haredi Supreme Court Judge - What does that really mean?

There is therefore need for further thinking as to the prerequisites for serving in the state’s judicial institutions in general, and the Supreme Court in particular.

80% of Israel's religious councils have only one woman

80% of Israel's religious councils have only one woman

Only 70 women currently serve nationwide (on 58 of Israel's religious councils). They represent 17% of the total 407 religious council members throughout Israel.

Supreme Court nominations threaten religious freedom

Supreme Court nominations threaten religious freedom

Last week, months of nomination deliberations for four positions that will soon become vacant on Israel's Supreme Court came to an end. Israel's Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, the token secular representative of the Zionist Orthodox Jewish Home party, chaired the nominations committee.

Chief Rabbi Yosef attacks Israel's civil courts

Chief Rabbi Yosef attacks Israel's civil courts

Last week at a national rabbinic conference, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef declared that rabbis should warn the Israeli public that in the event of legal disputes, they should take their cases to the rabbinical courts, rather than to Israel's civil courts.

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.

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