Conversion is a central theme of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot when the biblical story of Ruth the Moabite – widely considered the first convert to Judaism – is traditionally read. In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to examine what types of relationships Jewish Israelis are ready to have with non-Jews. We also looked into what Jewish Israeli think about the topic of conversions in general and the conversion process in Israel in particular.
What is the secret behind the power of the ultra-Orthodox political parties in Israel and how has it changed over the years? The article presents an overview of the development of the ultra-Orthodox political parties in Israel from the establishment of the State as well as insights as to future developments.
As election season heats up, Tipping Point host Dr. Gilad Malach of the Israel Democracy Institute and Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer to understand how Haredi parties became kingmakers in Israeli politics, why recent polls show a decline in their power and whether there is a chance that Shas and United Torah Judaism will join forces in the current campaign.
More and more ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Israelis are enlisting in the IDF, driven by personal, financial, and professional motives, with military service seen as an “entrance ticket” to Israeli society and to the labor market. But military service also introduces them to the shared components of identity and citizenship linking them to the state and its values, and enabling them to identify with others, from outside their community.
IDI’s 2018 report on ultra-Orthodox society is out - shedding light on changing trends in population, education, employment, and leisure in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel.
A recent law stripped local authorities of the power to decide on allowing commercial activity on Shabbat and handed it over to the Minister of the Interior, a development which was met with public uproar. Would it not be better to leave these powers in the hands of the municipalities, which act according to the profile of their resident population? Dr. Shuki Friedman makes the case for leaving these decisions in the hands of the local authority.
The Israel Democracy Institute issued a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Nation State Billl, asserting that if the value of equality is not anchored in the legislation alongside the other enumerated national characteristics of the state, the law may eventually erode Israel's democratic character
The proposed amendment which will strip the Supreme Court of the power to invalidate legislation (“the British model”), or alternatively, would allow the Knesset, by a vote of 61 of its members to reinstate a law that the court has struck down (“the override clause”) pose a grave threat to every single Israeli citizen.
61% of the Jewish and Arab public believes that it is very likely that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem for Israel’s 70th Independence Day, will ignite an outbreak of violence. Nevertheless, 69% of the Jewish public think that even in light of the expectation of violence, Israel should not ask the Americans to postpone the move
In Honor of Israel's 70th Anniversary The Guttman Center for Public Opinion Research and Policy at the Israel Democracy Institute Is Launching “Data-Israel”: The largest and most encompassing online public opinion research database in Israel at the click of a button.
In light of President Trump's Declaration on Jerusalem: a large majority of the Jewish public think President Trump’s public declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was in Israel's best interest; a clear majority (over 60%) of the Israeli public agrees that Jerusalem is already divided into two cities: the eastern city and the western city
IDI's Shuki Friedman laments the existence of separate education systems for each sector of Israel's population, which reinforce, rather than bridge societal divides. This op-ed first appeared on Times of Israel.
In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, IDI's Prof. Yedidia Stern, who served on the Plesner Committee for Equality in National Service, and Mr. Jay Ruderman analyze the Haredi community's reluctance to serve in the Israeli army and present an approach that will facilitate Haredi integration into Israel's army and society.
Will the High Court of Justice’s refusal to extend the Tal Law indeed reduce the inequality of burden sharing in Israeli society? IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Momi Dahan does not think so, and argues that ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel should be exempted from the army and allowed to work, so as to assume their fair share of the tax burden.
Following the dissolution of the Committee to Advance Equality in Sharing the Burden, committee head MK Yohanan Plesner submitted proposals for alternatives to the Tal Law. In this article, IDI Researcher Attorney Haim Zicherman, who served as the content coordinator of the Plesner Committee, warns that some of those measures were personal recommendations rather than recommendations of the Committee, and may reverse trends of increasing army service by ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer presents a contrasting view to Prof. Yedidia Stern's assertion that the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service in Israel is "<a href="http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/judicial-activism-at-its-height">Judicial Activism at its Height</a>."
In an op-ed from Haaretz, IDI research fellow Yair Sheleg responds to settler leader Benny Katzover’s positions on the Jewish and democratic nature of the State of Israel, and argues that Israel should not prefer either of these two identities and should view its Jewish and democratic nature as two manifestations of human dignity.
Why is the marginalization of women in Israeli society and their exclusion from the public sphere on the rise in Israeli society? In this op-ed, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern focuses on the religious Zionist community and the power struggle to determine who will control the public sphere and the space of the religious community.
In an op-ed from Yedioth Ahronoth written in honor of Israel's 63rd Independence Day, IDI Vice President of Research Yedidia Z. Stern reflects on the quality of Israeli independence, and asserts that a connection with the wellsprings of Jewish culture is necessary for maintaining the quality of the independence that Israel holds so dear.
In this article from Haaretz published on October 3, 2010, Former Education Minister Rabbi Itshak Levi, head of Policy Implementation at IDI, objects to the cultural coercion involved in a mandatory core curriculum, and advocates requiring only the study of Hebrew and Civics of all students in Israel.
In late 2009, a series of crimes were committed by individuals who hailed from different sectors of Israeli society—Russian, ultra-Orthodox, the settlers, and the Israeli upper class. These crimes were attributed to the actualization of traits stereotypically associated with the "tribe" of each perpetrator. In an op-ed in <em>Yedioth Aharonoth</em>, Prof. Yedidia Z. tern warns against public displays of tolerance that create a cultural "city of refuge" that condones such behavior, and calls on the leaders of each "tribe" to assume responsibility and take action to eradicate the negative behavior associated with their camp.
Researcher Michael Philippov exposes stereotypical views of Russian immigrants and suggests that criminality is a product of Israeli society's obtuseness and indifference. He encourages Israel to consider Aliyah absorption seriously and to focus on fundamental problems such as the lack of development of the peripheral regions and insufficient investment in education.
According to recent data, every second person emigrating from Israel is an immigrant from the Former Soviet Union. This article by IDI's Michael Philippov asserts that the failed integration of the Russian aliyah is not a natural, predictable process but a painful failure for Israel as a host society.
This article presents the main milestones in the recurring attempts to put a satisfactory arrangement for the deferment of military service for yeshiva students in place. In doing so, it surfaces the changes that have occurred over time in the constitutional, legal, and public responses and attitudes on this issue.
27 years after Kahane’s murder, Jewish extremists praise the rabbi, calling him a righteous prophet whose politics were ahead of his time. Like Kahane, Gopstein’s ultimate dream is an Israel that operates according to Jewish law, or Halacha, where the only Arabs who live there are those loyal to a Jewish theocracy. “At this rate,” he says of Palestinian citizens of Israel, “it’s either us or them”
On the complex relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the secret to bringing down the walls of fear and prejudice
As calls for a "majoritarian democracy" gain strength in Israel, IDI's President warns of the dangers associated with a tyranny of the majority, and makes the case for a richer interpretation of democracy, grounded in the principles of liberty, equality and the separation of powers.
The State of Israel needs to come up with appropriate living solutions for the ultra-Orthodox, whose numbers are expected to increase significantly.
Religious Zionism and Israeli Society
An Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel
Human Rights Responsa, March 2013
“Shall your brethren go to war, and shall you sit here?” (Numbers 32:6)
The Emerging Haredi Middle Class in Israel
The Emergence of a New Jew
Disengagement 2005 as a Test Case
A Quest for a Jewish-Arab Compact in Israel
The Dilemma of Non-Jewish Immigrants in Israel
English Policy Paper No. 3
Beliefs, Observances, and Values among Israeli Jews 2000 (Abstract)
Legal, Social, and Cultural Aspects
Volume I: The Haredim in Israel
Policy Paper No. 7
Redefining the Concept of Peoplehood