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The Latest on Conversion in Israel

The last week has seen a major development in the area of conversion in Israel. As has been reported, a new and independent religious court made up of national-religious rabbis has begun to convert minors outside of the framework of the Chief Rabbinate. I am not going to rehash the issues, you can read the […]

Conversion to Judaism in Israel May Have Forever Changed

Yair Ettinger reported on Twitter that a Beit Din (Religious Court) of prominent national-religious rabbis will begin to convert minors outside of the purview of the Chief Rabbinate. המרד תופס תאוצה: שלושה רבנים לא אלמונים החלו היום לגייר קטינים (בהסכמת הוריהם) באופן פרטי ובמסלול עוקף רבנות — Yair Ettinger (@YairEttinger) August 10, 2015 Srugim has […]

Shabbat Pamphlets Make the Evening News

In almost every Israeli synagogue you can find alonei shabbat, pamphlets or handouts on the weekly Torah portion. In the past few years things have gone beyond pamphlets that just discuss the parashah, and there are now available what amount to small magazines that targeted towards the religious public. See here (Hebrew) for a comprehensive […]

How Many Reform and Conservative Jews in israel

Tomer Persico brings (Hebrew) some interesting numbers from a recent poll by the Knesset TV Channel. People were asked “Do you feel attached to one of the denominations in Judaism? If so, which one?” The answers may surprise some people: Reform 6%; Conservative 6%; Orthodox 35%; no denomination 45%. A previous poll from 2009 put […]

Communal Kosher Supervision in Israel

According to the Israeli Kosher Fraud Law-1983 [חוק איסור הונאה בכשרות] (here in Hebrew) all kosher supervision must be done through the Chief Rabbinate, the local religious councils, or one of their appointed agents. If it isn’t done through one of these bodies, then it is illegal to say that a place that serves or […]

She Needed Her Husband’s Signature

Dr. Tova Ganzel is Director of the Midrasha Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar-Ilan University. The Midrasha is one of the premier institutions in Israel that offer women the opportunity to study Torah at an advanced level. Dr. Ganzel is an accomplished scholar who is both a yoetzet halakhah and a recipient of a […]

Interview with Yoav Sorek on a New Israeli Jewishness

I recommend this interview in English with Yoav Sorek on a “New Definition of Israeli Jewishness.”

Rabbi Zvi Tau and the Future of Religious Zionism

It is common for people to speak about Religious Zionism as if it is a monolithic ideological group that shares common assumptions about the State of Israel, secular studies, the army, etc. Religious Zionism is actually made up of numerous smaller groups, some more dominant than others, which all together make up what insiders call […]

Israeli vs. Diaspora Judaism: Micha Goodman vs Shai Held

Take time out of your day to listen or watch this discussion between two of the most important Jewish thinkers today. (HT to Life in Israel)

The Saga of the Bible Project 929

Recently a Bible study project was launched in Israel that was suppose to provide a platform for Israelis from all different backgrounds to study the Bible together. 929, named after the number of chapters in the Tanakh, seemed to be doing exactly what it was doing until a number of things happened. The first cracks […]

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