Reform and Conservative leaders are threatening to hit Israeli politicians where it hurts — in the pocketbook — for supporting a new two-pronged legislative attack aimed at blocking non-Orthodox efforts to gain equality in Israel.
In this sudden escalation of Israel’s religious pluralism war, non-Orthodox leaders this week angrily denounced the Israeli Orthodox coalition’s aggressive political maneuvers to try and prevent Reform and Conservative representatives from taking their seats on local religious councils.
Jerusalem — American students at Israeli universities will get gas masks if a state of emergency is declared, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzchak Mordechai told The Jewish Week after giving similar assurances to the president of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
Jerusalem — Calling it a “breakthrough for political life in Israel,” Communications Minister Limor Livnat last week hailed the election of the first woman as mayor of a major Israeli city and vowed: “This is only the beginning.”
Tel Aviv — A revolution of sorts is taking shape in Israel. First it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise two years ago to wean the country of American foreign aid. Then last month he surprised many North American Jewish federation leaders with his pledge to spend Israeli tax dollars to subsidize educational trips to Israel for every Jew age 15 to 26.
Now, a newly created Israeli philanthropy is planning to spend some of the money it raises here to support Jews in distress overseas.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
Members of the Chabad chasidic sect danced in the streets Monday when one of its local activists emerged from an Israeli prison, where he had been imprisoned on suspicion of plotting an attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But in Brooklyn Monday, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chabad’s international director, was striving to put as much distance as possible between the organization and the activities of its Israeli members.
“I don’t know who he is,” said Rabbi Krinsky, “I’ve never heard of him.”
Jerusalem — American and Israeli Jews seemed to have switched traditional roles during the General Assembly of the UJA Federations of North America, held here this week.
Not only was the conference held in Israel for the first time in its 67-year history, but a surprisingly large number of Israelis were participating, seeking to connect with American Jewry. And Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged to provide millions of dollars to educate diaspora youth.