To facilitate the entry of haredim into academia and the workforce, the state and private industry have invested hundreds of millions of shekels in recent years to create ultra-Orthodox frameworks to support individuals who are looking for academic education and employment while also remaining loyal to their cultural mores. As a result, nearly 80 percent of ultra-Orthodox women are now employed, on par with secular Jewish Israeli women.
The desired result could have been achieved quietly and efficiently had the Knesset adopted a rational arrangement that would encourage military service through positive and negative economic incentives. (This article was originally published in the Jewish Journal of LA.)
In an op-ed originally published in Haaretz on June 18, 2010, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern responds to the dramatic events in the city of Immanuel, warns secular society about the growing demonization of the Haredi community, and urges the Haredi community to have greater faith in the courts—the ultimate protectors of the rights of minorities.
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.
The State of Israel needs to come up with appropriate living solutions for the ultra-Orthodox, whose numbers are expected to increase significantly.
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.
How many ultra-Orthodox live in Israel today? How many will watch this clip on the internet? How are ultra-Orthodox women transforming their community? How many are employed? What age to they get married?
Israel needs to abandon the vindictive approach of trying to reform ultra-Orthodox society through force and budget cuts, and rather start investing heavily in education and job creation in the ultra-Orthodox sector. This op-ed was first published in the New York Jewish Week.
The relationship between religion and state in Israel is stormy. Lately, it seems the ultra-Orthodox have launched a new offensive on several fronts. This op-ed was originally published by JNS.org.
No aspect of the current Western Wall plaza arrangement, in which the Orthodox maintain a monopoly, will change if other denominations are allowed to pray at the foot of the Temple Mount in a new plaza. This article was first published by The Jerusalem Post.
“The Kotel compromise presents a proper balance between the will and desire of Orthodox individuals - who are the majority of those praying at the Western Wall -- to continue praying in the main plaza as they always have, and the will and desire of other Jewish groups that want to pray in the vicinity of the Kotel according to their faith."
A Bridge to Employment