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Ruach Hiddush - רוּחַ חִדּוּשׁ

רבנים וחזנים למען חופש דת ושוויון

Rabbis and Cantors for
Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel

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Our colleague, Rabbi Gordon Tucker, calls us to action, to consistently and as frequently as possible send the message to Israel's government, through their own representatives, that we do not accept their marginalization of all but the Haredi rabbinate. Israel must be the state of the entire Jewish people.

Rabbi Tucker's plea introduces this month's articles which further illustrate the Netanyahu government's continued assault on Judaism and the Jewish diaspora. Ruach HIddush not only intends to keep you informed, but we are asking the question: how to be most effective in opposing the destruction of the religious ties between all but ultra-Orthodox Israelis and the Jews of the Diaspora. The Netanyahu government is redefining Zionism with us on the outside, with the result of driving away from Israel liberal North American Jews in particular.

Whether the issue is conversion courts, civil marriage, keeping a data base of "who is a Jew" for Israel's government utilizing an exclusively Haredi definition, or any of the other manifestations of assault on the legitimacy of our rabbis and our movements, our direct response to Israel's government must be clear, direct and effective.

We look forward to your response.

Write to us at:


Mark H. Levin
Ruach Hiddush

Contact us

Phone (US):

Phone (Israel):


June 14, 2018


How can rabbis and cantors respond to the continued erosion of Jewish religious freedom in Israel?

by Rabbi Gordon Tucker

" ...No Israeli representative, no matter what political camp to which he or she belongs, should be allowed to make a visit to American Jewish groups without being challenged by and confronted with the absolute unacceptability and corrosive effects, on Israel itself, of the suppression of the religious rights of Jewish lovers of Israel. We can, by ourselves, and by enlisting members of our communities in this simple effort, make sure that the “united affront” that we feel will be reported back to the Israeli government. Silence will always be taken as accommodation, and this is something that neither we nor Israel can afford... "

FULL ARTICLE >>> - Equal Treatment for Yosef Kibita and Ugandan Jews in Israel

by Masorti Foundation

The recent decision of Israel’s Interior Ministry to deny the request of Yosef Kibita of the Jewish Abayudaya community in Uganda to make Aliyah, and the decision to deny recognition of the Abayudaya as a “recognized” Jewish community, violate Israeli law and Zionist principles. Under the law, a convert may make Aliyah if he or she is a member of a Jewish community recognized by one of the three principal streams of the Jewish religion and/or by the Jewish Agency for Israel. In the case of the Abayudaya, they are a recognized community by the Jewish Agency, as well as by Masorti Olami, Masorti Israel and the Conservative Movement.


Number of Israelis Marrying Outside Rabbinate Rising, Even Among Orthodox Jews

By Judy Maltz

New survey includes first ever numbers on unrecognized Jewish wedding ceremonies performed outside of Orthodox establishment, highlighting Israelis’ growing contempt for Chief Rabbinate


U.S. Jews Say Israel Is Losing Their Support by Capitulating to ultra-Orthodox Demands

By Judy Maltz

If ‘unprecedented’ divisions on conversions, marriage and Western Wall prayer continue, ‘you will have nobody’ left to defend Israel abroad, AJC leaders warn Knesset session


Haredi MK pushes establishment of national genealogy database

by Arutz Sheva Staff

A haredi lawmaker has announced plans to advance legislation which if passed would establish a national genealogical database, listing every individual whose Jewishness has been verified by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.


Israelis Balk At Input From U.S. Jews: Survey

By Stewart Ain

Rabbi Wernick, asked what he believes UJA-Federation of New York should do based on these results, replied in an email: “I think UJA can be even more strategic in its funding in Israel to address the gaps that this data shows are growing. For example, we should increase opportunities for ordinary Israelis and North Americans (not just leadership) to meet and discuss and debate the issues that are the substance of the shared values of mutual importance … . Further, we should insist that our funding go to organizations and causes that promote a stronger relationship between our communities and reduce or eliminate funding to those that do not.”


Diaspora rabbinical judges could have to take exams to get Chief Rabbinate’s OK

By Marissa Newman

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate ... released its proposed criteria for the recognition of rabbinical courts abroad for the purposes of conversions to Judaism and divorce ... It mandates that rabbinical courts seeking Israeli recognition of their conversions and divorce proceedings be Orthodox, permanent (as opposed to panels that convene only when cases arise), and recognized in their home countries.


Conservative Movement to Petition Top Court After Israel Resolves Not to Recognize Ugandan Jews

By Judy Maltz

The Conservative movement intends to petition the High Court of Justice following Israel's decision to deny recognition to Uganda’s Jewish community.



רוּ"חַ חִּדוּ"שׁ היא ארגון של רבנים וחזנים הפועל למימוש מלא של הבטחת מגילת הצעמאות לחופש דת ושוויון. מימוש הבטחה זו חיוני לחיזוק זהותה של מדינת ישראל כמדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית ולהמשך השותפות עם העם היוהדי לתפוצותיו.

Ruach Hiddush is a network of Rabbis and Cantors working to fully realize the promise of Israel's Declaration of Independence, which guarantees religious freedom and equality. The fulfillment of this promise is vital for strengthening Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and for maintaining the solidarity of world Jewry.

a project of Hiddush מיזם ש ל חדִּוּ"שׁ

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