web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israel’s Chief Rabbinate Facing Heated Calls For Change On Several Fronts

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar (left) and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger (right)

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar (left) and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger (right)

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, director of Israel policy and advocacy for the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, said that American Jews of various stripes believe that the time for major change has arrived.

“There’s a sense [that] it’s time for the [Chief Rabbinate] to enter the 21st century, if not the 20th,” Weinblatt said.

Focus on the topic is building, according to Martin Raffel, senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. However, he said that his umbrella group, which includes representatives of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist groups, will not be taking a public position on the matter.

“There clearly is great interest in the Jewish community regarding matters of religion and state in Israel,” Raffel said. “The JCPA considers the impact of Israeli policies and actions in this arena on Israel-world Jewish relations, and routinely shares assessments with government officials and others. But as an umbrella body – for the sake of ‘shalom bayit’ [Hebrew for ‘peace in the home’] – long ago we decided not to take positions with respect to specific legislative matters” in Israel regarding religious pluralism.

Likewise, the AJC usually stays out of internal Israeli affairs, but not when they “directly affect the position of American Jewry, the American Jewish-Israeli relationship and the Jewish people,” Bayme said.

About a year ago, he said, AJC leaders started deliberating on their statement in response to Knesset member David Rotem’s unsuccessful effort to pass a bill cementing Orthodox control of the Chief Rabbinate. But religious pluralism is not the only reason for such actions, Bayme added.

“We’re trying to signal to Israeli society that the U.S.-Israel relationship, which we pride ourselves on, rests on democratic norms,” Bayme said. “Those norms and a coercive monopoly [by the Chief Rabbinate] don’t easily exist.”

The AJC, he said, is not calling for the dismantling of the Chief Rabbinate but for its radical transformation. One model suggested by the organization is England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, who heads the 80-million member Anglican Church. The archbishop is chosen by the prime minister on behalf of the monarchy and has a largely ceremonial and ritualistic role with no political power.

But, Bayme cautioned, that is only one idea.

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel’s Chief Rabbinate Facing Heated Calls For Change On Several Fronts”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the US Congress in Washington on May 24 2011.
Live: Watch Netanyahu’s Speech in Congress [video]
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the US Congress in Washington on May 24 2011.

The speech begins at 6pm Israel Time / 11AM NY Time. Watch live below: Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Netanyahu's map illustrating the extent of the Iran-funded  Hezbollah terrorist network.

The Prime Minister showed AIPAC a map of Iranian-backed Hezbollah attacks in five different continents.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

If Iran is serious, Netanyahu can skip his speech and tell the Air Force to rev up its engines.

U.S. Capitol

Names and contact information of House Democrats who have confirmed attendance at Bibi’s speech.

The anti-Netanyahu crowd, in the spirit of topsy-turvy Purim, drummed up support for his speech.

Iran, like the Palestinian Authority, has one mindset. A deal is not peace. It is an evil piece of paper.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is making sure PA children will go without milk and the parents forced to ration what little milk they have.

US President Barack Obama contends Israel is “safer today than ever before,” says give Iran talks a chance.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is threatening to kill the founder of Twitter and his employees because they are blocking tweets from Daesh, known also as ISIS.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power tells AIPAC on Monday that America “will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period.”

“Today, we are no longer silent; today, we have a voice. Tomorrow, as prime minister of the only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice.”

Former Consul Alon Pinkas charges Prime Minister Netanyahu is “injecting Israel into the American political arena – he loves doing that.”

Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold says PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress “will have substance no one has heard before.”

Want to know who are the Bibicotters and how you can tell them what you think?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a packed room at AIPAC on Monday the US-Israel alliance is “sound.” But on Iran: “No one makes alliances with the weak,” he warned.

IDF soldiers, reservists and local security units participated in a massive training drill in the town of Efrat, Gush Etzion, reenacting an infiltration of terrorists into the settlement, on March 02, 2015. The IDF’s central command called a surprise training exercise in the West Bank to test reservists’ alertness and to prepare for the possibility […]

More Articles from Neil Rubin
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar (left) and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger (right)

WASHINGTON – The latest battle over religious pluralism in Israel has unleashed a new barrage of criticism and calls for reform aimed at the Orthodox-controlled Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/religious-secular-in-israel-israel/israels-chief-rabbinate-facing-heated-calls-for-change-on-several-fronts/2012/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: