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The Jewish people have been debating questions of Jewish identity and the definition of "who is a Jew" for thousands of years. While this debate has worn different faces and taken on different shapes at different times, it is a debate that has weighed on all sects and sectors of Jewish society. However, with the formation of the State of Israel, and especially over recent years, there is a palpable feeling that there are two nations caring out separate and different discussions. One lives and operates out of Israel; the other is overseas. This op-ed originally appeared in the Jewish Week.

The transition between Passover and Israel’s Independence Day is a symbolic transition from a holiday that centers on Godly miracles to a holiday that centers on human actions. 

IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern responds to the State Comptroller's findings on conversion in Israel and calls for a solution that will enable Israelis from the former Soviet Union to join the ranks of the Jewish people.

An op-ed by IDI Senior Fellow Admiral Ami Ayalon, Project Head Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, and Shira Ruderman of the Ruderman Foundation, stressing the need to dispel the fear of the Other and the Different. 

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is an opportunity to stop and ponder how much we love to forget or forget to love. This article was originally published by the Jewish Journal

Judaism is no longer intimately and inexorably linked to religious observance. 

As a second generation Holocaust survivor, Dr. Shuki Friedman says that, "beyond the responsibility of building our own lives and the state, there is also a personal responsibility not only to remember, but to pass on remembrance to the next generation."

 

A country that comes to a standstill for one whole day and doesn’t derive anything significant from it is missing the point.

Shared responsibility, which is engraved in Jewish tradition, is one of the secrets of the State of Israel's success.

What do the two candidates for the American presidency — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — have in common? Almost nothing at all — except that their children are married to Jews. This op-ed by Yedidia Stern originally appeared in the Jewish Journal. 

What criteria must the caliphate of the Islamic State meet in order to be considered a State under international law? This article presents an analysis of this question by IDI experts on terrorism and democracy.

An interview in which IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon discusses the Institute's achievements, his views on the government and its size, and the connection between his expertise on Nazi Germany and his research on democracy. 

How do Jews in Israel see their connection with Jews in the Diaspora? In preparation for the first <a href="http://jms.org.il" target="_blank">Jewish Media Summit</a> (JMS), IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys conducted a survey of the attitudes of Israeli Jews toward Diaspora Jewry.

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer shares thoughts on Jerusalem, which symbolizes what is most beautiful and exalted in Jewish culture: the commitment to law and morality, to justice and mercy.

In a <em>Times of Israel</em> op-ed, Dr. Arye Carmon advocates a new approach to educating Israeli school children about the Holocaust, which will humanize both the victims and the perpetrators.

Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern shares thoughts on the Hebrew calendar, which contributes to Jewish unity and preserves the Jewish people as a single national and cultural unit.  

Recently, the findings of the third Guttman-AVI CHAI report—A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs, Observance, and Values of Israeli Jews—were presented to the public. The findings have drawn much media coverage because they revealed that an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews believe in God. In an op-ed from <em>Haaretz</em>, IDI Senior researcher Yair Sheleg responds to columnists who were alarmed by the findings regarding belief in God, and argues that what is really of concern is the inverse relationship between this belief and belief in democratic values.

In an op-ed originally published in Maariv, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs warn that the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People would undercut the balance between the "Jewish" and "democratic" nature of the State of Israel.

In an op-ed in Haaretz, IDI Researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs warns that the proposed Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People is not only anti-democratic but also undermines the foundations of Zionism.

The proposed "Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People" has the support of one third of the members of Knesset. In this op-ed, which was originally published in Hebrew in Yedioth Ahronoth, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern, who is deeply committed to the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, warns that the shift from defining Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" to a "Jewish state with a democratic regime" is not a semantic shift, but a seismic change.  

Why is Yom Kippur the most significant day on the Jewish calendar? What explains its appeal even to people who define themselves as "secular"? IDI research fellow Yair Sheleg shares his thoughts on this matter.

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer addresses the question of the appropriateness of the letter that Givati Brigade commander Col.Ofer Winter sent to his subordinate officers as Israel prepared for the ground incursion in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern reflects on the privilege of sacrifice and the necessity to maintain a Jewish Israel in order to justify that sacrifice, in an article written for Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism.

Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum should come together to pass a Nation-State Law that ensures equality.

On the 19th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that if the annual memorial day for the late prime minister were to be observed as Israeli Democracy Day, Rabin's legacy for the future would be even greater.

IDI President Yohanan Plesner stresses the need to ensure that the Israel Defense Forces remains at the heart of the Zionist consensus so as to enable it to continue to be the army of all citizens of Israel.

In an op-ed in <em>Yedioth Ahronoth</em>, Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that the Iron Dome could not protect Israel from hatred between Jewish and Arab citizens, and stresses the need for both sides to use imaginative empathy to mend the fabric of Israel's shared society.?

In an op-ed in Ynet News, IDI researcher Dr. Haim Zicherman discusses the steps that Israeli society must take in order to enable ultra-Orthodox men to integrate into the Israeli army and workforce.

Should the State of Israel recognize "Israeli" as a nationality? IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern and Jay Ruderman assert that it is imperative for the State of Israel to continue distinguishing between citizenship and nationality. 

Prof. Shahar Lifshitz outlines what halakhic authorities and the Knesset can do in order to resolve the issue of get refusal, as discussed at the Second Agunah Summit.

In an article in the Hebrew weekly <em>Makor Rishon</em>, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs argue against the current initiative to pass Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, which they see as divisive and problematic.

As the Knesset prepares to vote on the "Draft Law" designed to regulate the service of ultra-Orthodox men in the Israel Defense Forces, Dr. Haim Zicherman surveys the current situation within Israel's Haredi community.

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs assert that the only way to guarantee Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state is not through a Basic Law that defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people but through a Constitution. 

Is Israeli democracy weak, fragile and on the brink of collapse, or is it robust, stable and resilient? 

Dr. Amir Fuchs discusses the Israeli High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the "Admissions Committees Law," which allows small communities to reject applicants due to a lack of social suitability.