Going The Distance

Are American Jews, especially young ones, driven away from Israel by its growing haredization?
Special To The Jewish Week
05/28/2012 - 20:00

In 1948 the new government of Israel, under the hegemony of David Ben-Gurion and his Mapai party, entered into deals with two crucial groups: the Religious Zionist party, Mizrachi, and the anti-Zionist Agudat Yisrael. (By 1948 Agudat Yisrael had become a political entity; a year earlier Ben-Gurion had sent its leaders a letter outlining the pact). The goal of the deals was to retain the “status quo ante” — the religious reality that was in place before the creation of the state.

The phenomenon of women at the back of the bus in Israel is one that resonates with younger Americans. YNet News

The Haredi Revolution

The ultra-Orthodox are becoming increasingly integrated into mainstream Israeli society the author argues. But will it be enough for secularites, and for the media?
Special To The Jewish Week
05/28/2012 - 20:00

Noah Efron, a young American-born graduate student at Tel Aviv University, was standing in the cafeteria line, just before the outbreak of the first Iraq War, when he overheard one female student say to another, “The best thing for the country would be if there was a chemical attack on Bnei Brak [the largest haredi population center] before they get new gas masks [for bearded men].” The Silver Spring, Md., native had never before experienced anti-Semitism, and was shocked to hear a Jew talk about the salutary effect of gassing other Jews.

A growing number of religious Jews are serving in the IDF.  Abir Sultan/Flash90/JTA
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