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Religion & State was front and center at the 2017 General Assembly

Religion & State was front and center at the 2017 General Assembly

The religion-state stew is clearly boiling. This week, the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America convened in Los Angeles, and these challenges were front and center.


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The religion-state aspects of Israel's Nation-state bill

The religion-state aspects of Israel's Nation-state bill

Next week the Knesset Special Committee on the Nation-State Bill (formally, 'Basic Law: Israel - The Nation-State of the Jewish People') will be deliberating on the revised draft bill, which was initiated by fourteen MKs from the Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Kulanu parties.

U.S. State Department releases International Religious Freedom Report

U.S. State Department releases International Religious Freedom Report

The US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, released last week, diplomatically pans the lack of progress by the Israeli government toward increased religious freedom.

Ritual Bath Law passes, Jewish Agency plays Haredi parties' game

Ritual Bath Law passes, Jewish Agency plays Haredi parties' game

The discriminatory Ritual Bath bill proposed by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni and his colleagues, which will ban the non-Orthodox movements from using Israel's publicly funded mikva'ot for conversion ceremonies was formally passed into law on Monday night, July 25.

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.

Ultra-Orthodox newspaper portrays Reform Jews as donkeys

Ultra-Orthodox newspaper portrays Reform Jews as donkeys

Yated Ne'eman is the newspaper of the Degel HaTorah party, which sits in PM Netanyahu's Coalition. They think of Reform Jews as donkeys, and of the Supreme Court as a dangerous political player, which equates "true" Judaism with donkeys posing as Jews.

Chief Rabbi Lau's blatant anti-pluralism hypocrisy

Chief Rabbi Lau's blatant anti-pluralism hypocrisy

Last week, Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau publicly rebuked Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of education and Diaspora affairs. Bennett’s religious sin, per Lau, was visiting the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, and tweeting an enthusiastic reflection of the school and the love for Israel and Judaism that he had seen there.

Chief Rabbi Lau publicly anti-Diaspora Judaism

Chief Rabbi Lau publicly anti-Diaspora Judaism

It is difficult to conceive of a greater contradiction than that between Chief Rabbi David Lau’s outrageous statement last week, lashing out at Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to the Conservative Movement’s Schechter School in Manhattan, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s welcome declaration at last month’s General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, where he stated that he would “ensure that all Jews – Reform, Conservative and Orthodox – feel at home in Israel.”

The American Jewish Committee workshop: A step of exceptional importance

The American Jewish Committee workshop: A step of exceptional importance

The American Jewish Committee brought together leaders and scholars from America and Israel to form a strategic path towards freedom of religion in Israel and equality between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry.

What Jewish leaders need to know: Israel’s marriage laws are discriminatory

What Jewish leaders need to know: Israel’s marriage laws are discriminatory

Israel's Chief Rabbinate disregards and disrespects Jewish leaders and their communities around the world. Israel must end their monopoly and embrace its promise for “freedom of religion and conscience... and equality” as a blueprint for a modern democratic Jewish state.

Media Review: A significant rise in reporting on Israel's marriage crisis

Media Review: A significant rise in reporting on Israel's marriage crisis

In the past few months, thanks to cooperative efforts between Hiddush and other like-minded organizations in Israel and America, the issue of freedom of marriage has been extensively covered in Israeli and international media.

Civil Marriage in Israel: An issue of global concern and action

Civil Marriage in Israel: An issue of global concern and action

As more Jewish organizations and communities in Israel and the Diapsora work together to promote freedom of marriage in Israel, the greater the chances that Israeli policymakers will understand the need for civil marriage in Israel.

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