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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Haredi’

Rabbi Ovadia’s Daughter May Bid to Succeed Peres as President

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite as Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and if the Republicans continue to prefer arguing rather than uniting, she will succeed.

In Israel, none other than Adina Bar Shalom, the Haredi left-wing daughter of the late Torah sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is contemplating running for the post that will be vacant with the end of the term of President Shimon Peres this year. The Knesset elects the president.

Bar Shalom, 69,  said last month that she has not talked with anyone about the possibility of running, but she told the Forward this week she might take the plunge. She said she is now talking about the prospect with several key people and supporters who believe she can be a “bridge between religion and the state.”

One of the reasons for her hesitation on declaring herself as a candidate is that she wants to know who else will be running. Another woman, former  Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner whose decisions were left-leaning, said Thursday she intends to run for president.

So far, veteran Knesset Members Reuven Rivlin of the Likud and Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer of Labor have announced their candidacies, as has outsider Dan Shectman, who like Bar Shalom has no  experience in politics. The Technion University scientist  is a Noble Prize winner in chemistry.

The position of presidency had been a ceremonial one until Ezer Weizmann actively pushed political policies during his term of office in the 1990s, and Peres has often acted more like Prime Minister then president.

Bar Shalom might win support from Israel’s popular media, which would promote her because of her leftist views and because she is a woman, considered to be a credential in and of itself by a pro-feminist media.

She told the Forward she firmly believes Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a “partner for peace” and believes his statements that “I won’t allow terrorists and terror” and “I prevent the terror.”

She founded a college for Haredi women in 2000 and which now is also open to men, who learn separately from women.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Shas Blames ‘Incitement’ for Vandalism of Haredi School

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Hate graffiti and swastikas painted on a Haredi Orthodox school in Be’er Sheva is the result of “incitement against the Haredi Orthodox,” the Shas Party said Wednesday after the vandalism at the entrance to the school was discovered.

“The public atmosphere against the haredi public and Torah students has gotten out of control and actually encourages harassment of the haredi Orthodox public,” Shas party leader Aryeh Deri wrote on his Facebook page.

The Haredi community has been under fire over the drafting of yeshiva students into the army. A Knesset committee is working to prepare a universal draft law for its second and third reading in the full parliament that would drastically reduce the number of deferments for yeshiva students.

However, Be’er Sheva synagogues and schools, including those that are not Haredi, have frequently been the targets of anti-Semites. Several thousand non-Jews of Russian origin live in the city.

JTA contributed to this report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Haredi Rabbi Calls on Youth to Shun IDF Costumes on Purim

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The head of a Haredi Orthodox group in Israel called on parents to prevent their children from dressing up as Israeli soldiers for Purim.

Rabbi Mordechai Blau, head of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, cited tension over the drafting of yeshiva students in offering the warning on Wednesday. Israeli army costumes are popular among young Orthodox boys at Purim time.

“We are at a time of evil decrees, and dressing up as a soldier in this period does not increase happiness, rather it increases sadness,” Blau said, according to the Israel Hayom Hebrew-language daily newspaper. “There are children for whom soldiers are likely to take on a frightening meaning, like taking their older brother away” to the army.

Rather, the rabbi suggested, boys should dress in U.S. Army costumes for next month’s holiday.

Last week Haredi Orthodox demonstrators throughout Israel protested against millions of dollars in cuts to yeshiva funding ordered by Finance Minister Yair Lapid in response to a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court over the Haredi Orthodox yeshiva students’ draft deferrals.

A government committee headed by lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party is working to finish revising a universal draft law that already has passed its first reading in the Knesset. The final bill is expected to be brought for its second and third reading in mid-March.

The leaders of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta in previous years have urged their followers not to dress up on Purim as soldiers, policemen or rescue workers.

JTA

High Court Says No Money for Yeshivas whose Students Don’t Enlist

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to cease all funding of yeshivas whose students do not enlist in the IDF.

The decision struck in one blow further sealed the fate of Haredi leaders fighting the “equal burden” policy pursued by Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid and also gave him a needed boost in popularity polls that are bound to return to his party several seats that surveys have projected he will lose in the next election.

The ruling affects yeshiva students who are ages 18 to 20 but only affects those yeshiva that are funded by the Education Ministry.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s has decided to delay their draft date, but the court still has not discussed an appeal that seeks to eliminate the delay and order the yeshiva students to enlist immediately.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Children from Haredi Sect Must Return To Quebec, Judge Rules

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

An Ontario judge ruled Monday that children from a fringe Haredi sect whose members fled Quebec while the community was being investigated by social services should be returned to the province.

The court upheld a Quebec order to place 13 children from the Lev Tahor sect into temporary foster care, The Canadian Press reported, but the judge placed a 30-day stay on the order to give the families time to appeal.

The children, who live outside Chatham, Ontario, about two hours southwest of Toronto, were ordered into temporary foster care by a Quebec court in November.

Authorities in Quebec, where sect members had lived north of Montreal for several years, said they had evidence of neglect, psychological abuse, poor dental and physical health, and a substandard education regime in the community.

The 13 children belong to three families. A publication ban prohibits identifying them, and the community denies all allegations and has said it is the victim of a Zionist smear effort.

Last week, Quebec police, with the assistance of local officers, raided two homes in the Lev Tahor community in Ontario. Rabbi Nachman Helbrans, son of sect founder Shlomo Helbrans, said the search may have been an attempt to find evidence of illegal child marriages.

A former sect member testified in Quebec that he had personally witnessed seven underage marriages.

JTA

Bennett’s Jewish Home and Labor Up in the Polls

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

A poll by the Knesset Channel released on Thursday confirms the trend of increased popularity for the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, and lesser support for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

Unlike recent polls, strength in the Likud-Beiteinu party dropped a bit. Labor and Meretz gained backing at the expense of Yesh Atid, and the other parties drew more or less the same support as in recent polls.

If elections were held today, according to the new survey, Likud-Beiteinu would win 30 seats in the Knesset, one less than it has today. Labor, which recently elected Yitzchak Herzog to replace Shelly Yachimovich as its leader, would replace Yesh Lapid as the second largest party, with 19 Knesset Members.

Third in line is Jewish Home with 17 seats, five more than it holds today.

Yesh Atid would drop from its current 19 to only 12. Meretz, as in previous polls, would be the biggest winner in terms of percentage gains. The survey gives the left-wing party 12 seats, double its current strength.

Shas would drop to seven seats, the Ashkenazi Haredi United Torah Judaism would hold its own at seven, and Tzipi Livni’s party continues to be in the dumps, this time with four projected MKS. The remainder of the Knesset seats would be occupied by Arab parties.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Queen Elizabeth to Honor Haredi Israeli Rabbi

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Queen Elizabeth will grant Israeli Haredi Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira one of the Commonwealth’s highest civilian honors with an appointment as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the British Embassy announced Tuesday.

Rabbi Shapira is the son of former Haredi Knesset Member Rabbi Avraham Yosef Shapira. The Embassy said he will be honored at Buckingham Palace for “strengthening the ties between the UK and the Haredi community.”

The rabbi responded to the announcement  by seeing he is “deeply honored” and that Britain has displayed“ warmth “and a “supportive attitude” towards Haredim.

Rabbi Shapira has “helped us build a friendship and understanding between Britain and the Haredi community,” said British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould. “Isaac ]Yitzchak] has devoted a huge amount of time over many years to helping me and my predecessors get to know this vital and important part of Israeli society.”

The award does not grant him the title of “Sir.”

Playing both sides of the street, Britain also announced it is awarding a similar honor to American-born Reform Rabbi Mark Winer, a British subject and a U.S. citizen.

Winer, 71, received the honor for services to interfaith dialogue and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. He said in a statement that he was “humbled and thrilled” to accept the honor. He is founder of the international interfaith charitable initiative FAITH: The Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony.

British Rabbi Herschel Gluck, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, also received an OBE for services to interfaith understanding.

Another American-born recipient of the OBE award is Brett Wigdortz, 39, for his efforts as founder of the education program Teach First.

Among the other recipients of New Year’s honors from the Queen are several Jews, both born in Britain and elsewhere.

David Kustow, former chair of UK Jewish Film, was awarded an OBE for services to film and for his role in the signing of the British-Israeli film cooperation treaty. Raymond Dwek, an Oxford University professor who co-chairs the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council, was awarded a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE award, for his services to scientific collaboration.

Philanthropist Michael Heller received a knighthood for his charitable services.

An Auschwitz survivor, Mayer Hersh, was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work in the field of Holocaust education.

Penny Ur, a British-born Israeli who studied at Oxford, was awarded an OBE for exceptional work in English teaching.

In total, more than 1,000 people were honored by the queen in advance of the new year, a British tradition since at least 1890.

 JTA contributed to this report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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