Tagged haredim

How the Pew study reveals a gulf between U.S. and Israeli haredi Jews

Haredi Orthodox Jews in Israel viewing the funeral procession of the prominent Rabbi Eliezer Hager in Haifa, July 8, 2015. (Ariel Schalit/AP)

(JTA) — Did we need the Pew Research Center to tell us that American haredim are different than other Jews? It’s no surprise that American haredi Orthodox Jews marry young, have big families, care more about religion and skew further right politically than the rest of the American Jewish community. But… Read more »

Facing possible draft and reduced subsidies, Israel’s haredim respond with prayer

A wall of pashkvilim, or posters bearing communal announcements, in the Jerusalem haredi neighborhood of Mea She'arim. (Ben Sales)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The large white poster is topped by a screaming headline written in large black letters: “Hell.” Posted on a wall in Jerusalem’s haredi Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, the sign describes a development that threatens the community with “extinction” and “makes all living hearts tremble.” Known as… Read more »

By merging with Liberman, Netanyahu challenges left and casts lot with right

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, of Likud and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beiteinu holding a joint news conference announcing that their two parties are joining forces ahead of the upcoming Israeli general elections, Oct. 25, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Political pundits have long debated who is the real Benjamin Netanyahu. Is he a pragmatist handcuffed by his right-wing support base and fealty to his late father’s nationalist vision? Is he a true right-wing ideologue whose apparent concessions to Israeli-Palestinian peace are but feints? Or… Read more »

Haredim fill N.Y. baseball stadium to decry error of Internet’s ways

Some 40,000 haredi Orthodox men filled Citi Field in New York to rally against the dangers of the Internet, May 20, 2012. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The sellout crowd that filled Citi Field on Sunday night wore black and white, not the New York Mets’ blue and orange. And instead of jeering the Philadelphia Phillies or Atlanta Braves, they faced a foe that was, to hear them talk about it, far… Read more »

In a surprise move, Likud and Kadima form Israel’s broadest government coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Kadima Party chairman Shaul Mofaz at a joint news conference in the Knesset announcing that Kadima has joined the coalition government. May 8, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israelis went to sleep Monday night expecting early elections in September for the 19th Knesset. They woke up to the news that elections would take place as planned in October 2013. A behind-the-scenes deal clinched overnight between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz created Israel’s… Read more »

Controversy grows in Israel over extension of Tal Law granting haredim army exemptions

Soldiers from the Israeli army's haredi Orthodox unit called the Netzah Yehuda Battalion praying. (Abir Sultan/Flash90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — When Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, granted a few hundred haredi Orthodox Jews an exemption from army service, it’s likely he never dreamed that 63 years later, tens of thousands of haredi Israelis would claim the exemption — or that the issue would be among… Read more »

Gender trouble

(Jewish Ideas Daily) — Suddenly, it seems, gender segregation is everywhere in Israel — buses, army bases, Jerusalem sidewalks, Beit Shemesh schoolyards and, above all, the front pages. What is going on here? Let’s start with the buses. In the late 1990s, at the request of some Haredim, the… Read more »

Exploiting the memory of child Holocaust victims is obscene

NEW YORK (JTA) — It is virtually impossible to imagine anything more reprehensible than the recent spectacle of haredi Orthodox Jewish boys wearing yellow stars of David and simulated striped black-and-white concentration camp uniforms at a demonstration in Jerusalem. Offended by the Israeli authorities’ efforts to curtail the verbal… Read more »

Unity is vital for harmony in Beit Shemesh, all of Israel

BEIT SHEMESH (JTA) — It’s raining as I write — a rare, cold, hard rain that is welcomed by Jerusalemites who know that it’s good for them and the country. Water, like patience, is a treasured commodity here in Israel: temporarily inconvenient, but better for you in the long… Read more »

As haredi population grows, can Israel put them to work?

A haredi Orthodox woman taking part in one of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s technical training programs. (Courtesy JDC)

At Israel’s first college for the haredi Orthodox, lectures on social work and computer programming are conducted just down the hall from a pair of classrooms transformed into a nursery for the students’ babies. The average female student here — women comprise a majority of the 1,100 student body… Read more »

Challenging orthodoxies, Shas maverick wants to put haredim to work

Not so long ago, few Israelis had heard of Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, a soft-spoken Shas backbencher in the Knesset. Over the past few weeks, however, Amsellem has emerged as a maverick in Israeli politics. Having broken ranks with the Orthodox-oriented Shas and its haredi leaders, he is talking about… Read more »