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  • Bill restricting non-Orthodox mikvah use in Israel advances

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — A bill that would bar Conservative and Reform conversions from taking place at public ritual baths in Israel passed an initial Cabinet committee vote, but only three of the committee’s 12 members were on hand for the vote. The members of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation who did vote Sunday unanimously passed the…

  • How Hasid with knife in neck stabbed the terrorist back

    PETACH TIKVAH, Israel (JTA) — Only after Yonatan Azriaev grabbed the terrorist’s arms and threw him against a wall of soft drinks did he think he was about to die. Azriaev, a member of the Breslov Hasidic sect, had been handing out religious pamphlets in the open-air market here when he stepped inside a shop…

  • Israelis grapple with Pew finding of support for Arab expulsion

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — In a survey that spanned politics, religion and interfaith relations, one statistic stood out: nearly half of Israel’s Jews support expelling the country’s Arabs. The Pew Research Center’s study of Israelis’ attitudes, which had its findings released Tuesday, had asked respondents whether they agreed that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred…

  • Pew: 48 percent of Israeli Jews want Arabs out of country

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Nearly half of Jewish-Israelis want to expel Arabs from the country. That’s one of several findings from a new survey of Israeli attitudes on religion, politics and Jewish identity conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center. Coming just three years after Pew’s much-discussed study of Jewish-Americans, the Israel study depicts a…

  • Netanyahu ‘committed to government decision’ on Western Wall

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement confirming that Netanyahu still supports the compromise on the future of egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall. The statement comes in the wake of attempts by haredi Orthodox leaders to change or block the compromise, which Israel’s cabinet approved in January. The…

  • Israel touts gay-friendly climate, but rights fight faces religious firewall

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — As last Tuesday ended, it felt like Israel’s gay community had taken a major step forward. On Feb. 23, eight separate Israeli parliamentary committees convened to discuss a broad set of issues facing the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Lawmakers from a range of parties talked about protecting LGBT Israelis in…

  • Why one haredi leader supports Western Wall deal with ‘heretical’ Reform Jews

    Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, former chief rabbi of Jerusalem’s Old City, is no fan of Reform and Conservative Judaism. In a letter sent Thursday to Israel’s chief rabbis, the haredi Orthodox Nebenzahl calls the movements “heretical religions.” They are “uprooting the religion and hurting everything holy to us,” he writes. “Their war against the religion is hard,…

  • Meet 5 Israeli companies driving disability tech

    From hearing to hiking, five ways Israeli companies are advancing disability inclusion.

  • Why Israel is a pilgrimage site for birds — and birdwatchers

    A prime location and diverse climate draw hundreds of millions of birds to Israel every year — along with the birdwatchers who thrill at the sight of them.

  • Bernie Sanders reaches out to Israelis on Facebook, gets an earful

    Bernie Sanders’ campaign issued a message of multicultural unity last week, posting graphics on social media that read, “Not me, us,” in 14 different languages. Facebook users generally responded positively to the posts, which in each language feature a silhouette of Sanders — fist raised — comprising smaller silhouettes of various shapes and colors. Israelis, though, were…