The Chief Rabbinate vs. The State of Israel and the Jewish People

Criticism of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate is nothing new. It has often been voiced in the RRFEI newsletter and resources, as well as in Hiddush’s materials. It covers a myriad of issues, which in recent years include its delegitimization of Modern Orthodox attempts at addressing the Rabbinate’s failures in the areas of conversion and kashrut …

Rising flames of resistance to the Western Wall agreement

Since last week’s RRFEI bulletin [link], the flames of religious detraction against the Kotel agreement have been rising. This has been covered widely in the Anglo Jewish and international media; below, RRFEI provides you with the original Hebrew pronouncements of: the Chief Rabbinate, the Ashkenazi Council of [Great] Torah Sages [link], the Sephardic Council of …

Public opinion poll: only 63% of Israelis would abide by civil court rulings over religious edicts

“In a situation when Jewish religious edicts were in conflict with civil court rulings, which would you follow?” Two weeks ago, the RRFEI bulletin [link] included an analysis of the Supreme Court landmark ruling on access for non-Orthodox converts to public mikva’ot, demonstrating that there is a lot more to this than first met the …

Israel cannot fulfill her role as the truly Jewish State with the Rabbanut in control.

A few years ago a friend from the congregation called to say that Israel had become a regular topic in her home since her daughter’s birthright trip, and the experience reenvigorated her intermarried family’s Judaism. I told her how delighted I was, and then asked, “You know I speak about Israel regularly from the pulpit. …

Will Orthodox Israelis’ revolt against the chief rabbinate spur a domino effect?

Snippets from the article by Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel [Click for the full TOI article] … Today, the new poster child of religious civil disobedience wears a knitted kippa. And faced with a recalcitrant Knesset ever fearful of disturbing the tenuous status quo, the movement is employing a strategic shift away from legislation and …

Responses to Chief Rabbi Lau’s publicly disdainful anti-pluralism

Friends, we assume you are aware of the public rabbinic debate that ensued following Chief Rabbi Lau’s admonishment of Minister Bennett for visiting a Conservative day school in Manhattan. Rabbi Uri Regev has written about it in the Jerusalem Post and the LA Jewish Journal, and many other responses to Rabbi Lau have been coming …

J-REC and RRFEI By Rabbi Prof. Michael Chernick

Recently a coalition called J-REC, which RRFEI members may not be familiar with, made its first mission trip to Israel. The J-REC or Jewish Religious Equality Coalition is the brain child of Dov Zakheim, less known as an Orthodox rabbi than as an adviser to the American Defense Department and a neo-con. As a strategist …

Enforcing the Chief Rabbinate’s new, legal kashrut regulations

This year, following a year-long battle with Hiddush, the Chief Rabbinate updated its kashrut regulations to be in accordance with the law. Everyone that has heard of this change has viewed it as revolutionary and a sea change. It comes after decades of religious coercion, and it is important for us to make clear that …