Orthodox Jewish lawmakers have vowed to pass a law nullifying an Israeli Supreme Court decision recognizing all Orthodox conversions—not only those performed by the state-sponsored Chief Rabbinate—as legally valid.
Several American Jewish groups celebrated a recent Israeli government decision to greatly expand—and fund—a pluralistic and egalitarian prayer section adjacent to the Western Wall plaza as a first step toward official Israeli recognition of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.
At the age of 36, Michael Luc realized he needed to find a good job.
Until then Luc, an ultra-Orthodox Jew and father of four in Bnei Brak, Israel, spent his days studying Torah. This entitled him to a small government stipend and an exemption from mandatory military service. His wife, a kindergarten teacher, helped put food on the table.
Just one narrow street divides the Arab village of Jabel Mukaber from the Jewish neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv in East Jerusalem. But the gulf between the two communities seems impossible to bridge these days.
JERUSALEM (RNS) In a bid to defuse the wave of Palestinian violence that has struck Israel and the West Bank during the past few weeks, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (October 8) prohibited all of the country’s parliamentarians from visiting the Temple Mount, a contentious site holy to both Jews and Arabs.
JERUSALEM (RNS) An interfaith group gathered in a private home Monday to head off potential tensions over how Jews and Muslims celebrate Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, two holidays that overlap this year.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s 47 Christian schools are entering the second week of an open-ended strike to protest ongoing cuts in government allocations, which they attribute to government discrimination against minority religious groups.
EFRAT, West Bank — When Mordechai Reich moved to this Jewish settlement seven miles south of Jerusalem in 1994, he wanted to study in a yeshiva, or seminary. He stayed in Efrat, once part of the biblical land of Israel, because he felt he could make a difference.
JERUSALEM (RNS) An Arab-Israeli parliament member drew harsh criticism from Jewish Israelis on Monday (July 27) when he claimed that Jewish people have no religious ties to the Temple Mount, considered the holiest site in Judaism.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s cabinet Sunday nixed the establishment of local conversion courts, which would have provided prospective converts with an alternative to the ultra-strict courts of the Chief Rabbinate.
Israeli rights activists say the decision is a blow to religious freedom.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Students at 16 Israeli high schools are completing a yearlong pilot program developed by the Washington-based Museum of the Bible, funded by the billionaire Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Conservative Jews in the U.S. and Israel have accused Israeli President Reuven Rivlin of canceling a bar mitzvah ceremony at the official president’s residence because one of the rabbis scheduled to conduct the ceremony is non-Orthodox.
JERUSALEM (RNS) A U.S.-born Israeli soldier who brought a ham sandwich to his army base was initially sentenced to 11 days in a military prison before a media frenzy prompted the Israel Defense Forces to drop all disciplinary measures.