Modes of Jewish Identification & Expression in Israel.
Israel is a living laboratory of competing conceptions of what it means to be Jewish in contemporary times. From the kibbutz to the Hassidic courts of Mea Shearim, from Sheinkin Street to Netivot, each sub-community possesses a different version of the story, raising fundamental questions about Jewish identity, community, and the meaning of tradition.
Written by Rakefet Sela Sheffy from Tel Aviv University’s Unit of Culture Research, this 19-page long article explores the construction of an Israeli identity not found in public political discourse, based on open responses to
Produced by Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about global trends, this 237-page long report provides the full findings of the 2014-2015 study, which provides insight into Israel’s polarized society,
This thorough article compares the findings of the The Jewish People Policy Institute’s Israeli Pluralism Survey (2016) and the Pew Research Center’s survey (2014-2015), the results of which were published as “Israel’s Religiously Divided
Produced by Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about global trends, this thorough video (19:01) provides insight into Israel’s polarized society, exploring the different ways in which Secular, Traditional, Religious
This post presents resources from the Israel Democracy Institute exploring the development of legislation regarding religion and state in Israel – from David Ben Gurion’s original “status quo” letter until today. Highlighting issues
In this i24News segment (06:49), Dr. Yair Caspi explores the emergence of a new phenomenon of young Israeli Jews from across the religious spectrum picking and choosing from among the various traditions and
In this fascinating article by Prof. Yedidia Stern, Vice President of the Israel Democracy Institute, the author outlines the character and vision of four major ideological groups in Israeli society: the secular Zionists, the ultra-Orthodox,
Created by the Women of the Wall in 2013, this promotional video (05:03) introduces the goals and challenges faced by this multi-denominational feminist organization whose goal is to secure the rights of women to pray
This lengthy article by Rachel Delia Benaim and Yitzhak Bronstein explores how a new generation of Israelis has begun to bridge the religious-secular divide, synthesizing Torah study and liberalism to create a new form of Israeli values.
In this personal account, American Jewish educator, Rabbi David Kasher, describes the growing world of secular Israeli organizations devoted to Torah study. He compares American Jewish religious pluralism and Israeli secular Torah study,
Produced by the Israel Democracy Institute, this video (02:05) features Yair Sheleg exploring how the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over religious life in Israel has led to a growing rift between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. He describes the exclusion of liberal
Produced by the Israel Democracy Institute, this video (01:49) features Dr. Shuki Friedman, Director of the Center for Religion, Nation and State, describing the financial, ethical and democratic issues with the current monopoly of the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate over the
This introductory article presents the attitudes toward the liberal Reform and Conservative/Masorti streams of Judaism in both official status and public opinion in Israel. After outlining the basic institutions of each movement in
Produced by CNN, this short news segment (03:44) presents the tension between the ultra-Orthodox sector of Israeli society and the State of Israel, particularly in regards to the economic and social implications of
Produced by True Torah Jews, an anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox movement, this video (05:53) presents an extreme perspective on the controversial efforts of the Israeli government to alter the status quo and increase the draft
Put together by Hiddush: Freedom of Religion for Israel, this 29-page document presents the findings of the 2018 Israel Religion & State Index, exploring complex issues of Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.
Produced by Hiddush: Freedom of Religion for Israel, this short video (03:22) presents an interview with Israeli-American educator, writer and performance artist, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, in which he speaks about about the challenges that the
Through interviews with Jerusalem residents, rabbis and intellectuals, this introductory video (03:01) outlines the tension between religion and state in the creation of a Jewish democratic state. The interviews are conducted in Hebrew,
This introductory video (05:11) explores the possibility of civil marriage in a Jewish democratic state where personal status issues are currently under the monopoly of the ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate. Prominent religious and political leaders discuss the
In this short video (04:11) created by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a national religious lobbying group that advocates for more moderate policies on religion and state issues, well-known leaders in the Orthodox Religious Zionist community explain
In this video (03:15), Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, discusses the role of Judaism in Israel, arguing that state legislation should never dictate how individuals practice Judaism in the
In this thought provoking video (05:18), Moshe Koppel argues for the separation of religion and state in Israel in order to protect Judaism from the influence of politics. Author of “Religion and State
In this important video (05:23), MK Merav Michaeli responds to the 2017 Western Wall and conversion controversies with a strong message about the essential role that secular Jews play in Israeli society and the Jewish
This post presents “Prayer of the Secular” by Kobi Oz, along with a printable educational guide including the Hebrew and English lyrics, explanatory footnotes for the lyrics, and guiding discussion questions. Written from
This article by Yossi Klein Halavei explores the unique phenomenon of “secular” Israeli rock music becoming more inspired by Jewish ideas and liturgy, as well as the historical and political events that have
Released in 2004, amidst the Second Intifada, this hip-hop song is a collection of Israeli bumper stickers representing the full spectrum of religious and political ideologies that make up Israel’s diverse and often polarized society. The
This inspirational video presents 1000 people of different backgrounds who gathered together to sing “One Love” by Bob Marley in English, Hebrew and Arabic at the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Created by the Women of the Wall, this music video puts footage from the organization’s controversial monthly Rosh Chodesh minyan at the Western Wall to the backdrop of “Quiet” by MILCK, which became the
This song by Israeli artist, Alma Zohar, criticizes current Israeli policy and public attitudes toward African refugees seeking safety in Israel in light of the history of the Jewish nation as a persecuted
This post presents “Elohay” by Kobi Oz, along with a printable educational guide including the Hebrew and English lyrics, explanatory footnotes for the lyrics, and guiding discussion questions. Written as an ode and duet to his