web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
You are looking at an "armed insurgent" and not a terrorist, according to the White House.
Obama Wins War on Terror By Saying It Doesn’t Exist [video]
Latest News Stories
Palestinian Child Soldiers

Palestinian Authority child soldiers – a crime against humanity.

Children learn how to shoot rifles to kill Jews.

Maybe, just maybe, the new generation of terrorists will one day turn their guns on their oppressors in Gaza.

You are looking at an "armed insurgent" and not a terrorist, according to the White House.

The White House explains that Taliban is not a terrorist group — it is an “armed insurgency.”

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The US in November stopped funding a left-wing group that is helping to campaign against Netanyahu

Super Bowl viewers will have to get along with Scarlett Johansson this year.

Cruz and New York Rep. Zeldin complained to Kerry of Obama’s “relentless harassment.”

A Shin Bet sting nabs Arab Israelis after returning from Syria where they join Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror groups — a whole group this month.

That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.

Simultaneous explosions in Egypt killed and wounded dozens Thursday night.

National religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

ISIS threatens to behead Obama, turn the U.S. into a Muslim province, and destroy France and Belgium.

Locked in Auschwitz, their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group and terrorist party, but most and worst of all, it is a huge and powerful army.

Lieberman’s issues a disproportionate response to polls that show his party will barely squeeze into the Knesset.

Boehner criticized President Obama for failing to take the threat of terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat seriously.

US Treasury Secy Jack Lew contends that French Jews really want to stay in France. They just want to be safe too.

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: