A message from Hiddush
Sept. 19, 2017
28 Elul, 5777
This has been a very productive week for Hiddush on two fronts.
First, our annual Israel Religion & State Index was released yesterday and covered extensively by the JTA (and the Hebrew media, of course). We cannot over exaggerate the importance and relevance of the findings of the 2017 Index and urge you to study them. The Hiddush Index is the most comprehensive and systematic annual study of its kind, conducted by Hiddush since its inception in 2009. It is used by policymakers, opinion molders, analysts in both Israel and the Diaspora, as well as NGOs and the general public. Nothing compares with the Index in its monitoring and analysis of religious freedom and equality of civic burden in Israel.
Secondly, in an unprecedented initiative, a group of rabbis, leaders and cultural figures in the United States and Israel have issued a strong, proactive and holistic Vision Statement on matters of religion and state, which aims at strengthening both Israel’s Jewish character and its democratic character.
Brought together by Rabbis Marc Angel and Uri Regev, the signatories to the statement represent a broad spectrum of the Jewish People, belonging to the various religious streams and political movements. All of them are deeply committed to the well-being of Israel and to Israel’s bond with world Jewry. Together, they are calling for a thorough review and overhaul of the religious status quo, so that Israel can indeed live up to its own commitment to be a Jewish and a democratic State.
These two projects fit one another like a hand and a glove.
Hiddush's annual Religion & State Index paints a thorough, nuanced picture of Israel's religion & state arena, as seen through the Israeli public's eyes. Among the most telling findings, the Index indicates that the majority of the Jewish Israeli public supports Diaspora engagement in advancing religious freedom and equality in Israel!
And, of course, the Vision Statement for a Jewish democratic Israel is a direct expression of shared commitment by Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to work towards the fulfillment of Israel's promise of religious freedom and equal treatment! This Vision offers a unique opportunity to stand together in our demand of Israel's political leadership that Israel’s founding promise of religious freedom and equality be fully realized.
On the right, you may read more about the 2017 Religion & State Index, as well as about the Vision Statement for a Jewish democratic Israel, and we cannot urge you enough to lend your names to this existential cause and share it with others encouraging them to do the same.
Friends, with the New Year upon us, the time to stand for religious freedom and equality - is NOW.
Stanley P. Gold,
Rabbi Uri Regev,
Make your impact today
Make an impact that will last. Your financial support of Hiddush advances freedom of religion and equality in Israel
Israel Religion & State Index - 2017
In advance of Rosh Hashanah, Hiddush is proud to publish its ninth annual Israel Religion & State Index.
During this period of soul-searching, it is important to address the question of the State of Israel's identity as a Jewish and democratic state. One of the most important arenas in this regard is that of the relationship between religion and state in Israel. As always, the JTA's coverage of this year's 2017 Index is quite comprehensive, and we highly recommend it to our readers.
It was a turbulent year in the realm of religion and state. Disagreements erupted not only between secular and religious Jewish Israelis, but also between the rabbinic establishment and liberal Orthodoxy, between Israel and the Jewish leadership of the Diaspora, and between non-Orthodox Jews and the Israeli government. The issues of the Western Wall, 'who is a Jew', Shabbat, gender equality, and many more frequently occupied the Knesset, the Government, and the media. The Israel Religion & State Index and other Hiddush surveys address all of these issues. You can read our abbreviated English version of the report, and we encourage our Hebrew readers to review the full report, which includes a more detailed analysis of the Index findings.
[Click HERE for the English report]
Israel as a Jewish democratic state
As we approach the High Holy Days, we urge you to sign onto this Vision Statement regarding Israel as a Jewish and democratic state - and to share with friends and colleagues - encouraging them to do the same
click HERE for the Vision Statement
This Vision Statement is brought to you by a group of activists, rabbis, and communal leaders from North America and Israel, from across the religious spectrum. The signatories include rabbis from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Renewal circles, as well as highly regarded communal leaders. It should be seen as the shared voice of American Jewry in its dialogue with Israel and its leadership.
Not only is this Vision Statement anchored in Israel's own Declaration of Independence, but it is widely supported by the majority of both Diaspora Jewry and Israelis themselves. Bringing together rabbis and lay leaders from across the Jewish spectrum to embrace this vision attests to its unifying force. As an increasing number of us raise our voices, we will increase the possibility of having a significant impact on the future spiritual and moral health of the State of Israel.
Hiddush in the Media
- Worried about Jewish pluralism in Israel? So are Israelis., Sept. 18, 2017, JTA
- Worried about Jewish pluralism in Israel? So are Israelis., September 18, 2017, The Times of Israel
- Mayim Bialik, Michael Douglas join Jewish leaders’ call for religious freedom in Israel, September 15, 2017, JTA
- Mayim Bialik And Michael Douglas Join Israel Pluralism , September 15, 2017, The Forward
- Mayim Bialik, Michael Douglas join call for religious freedom in Israel , September 15, 2017, The Times of Israel
- ‘Game of chicken’ on Wall deal , September 6, 2017, The NJ Jewish News
- ‘Game of chicken’ on Wall deal , September 6, 2017, The NY Jewish Week
- Petition to allow public transportation on Saturday retracted, September 12, 2017, The Jerusalem Post
- Uber and Shabbat, September 12, 2017, The Jerusalem Post
- High Court deletes Sabbath public transport petition, September 11, 2017, Globes
- High Court Rejects Meretz, Reform Petition to Compel Public Transportation on Shabbat, September 12, 2017, The Jewish Press
- Reform petition to allow Shabbat public transit rejected, September 11, 2017, Arutz Sheva
- High Court Rejects Petition To Operate Buses On Shabbos, September 11, 2017, Yeshiva World News