Share: A closer look at the cycle of poverty in the Haredi community in Israel


The Israeli Haredi newspaper Hamodia  has produced a film video to raise funds throughout the Jewish world for Israeli kollel families.

 The video blamed the State of Israel for the high level of poverty that exists within Haredi society.
In this next section, you will see parts of the original video together with some perspectives that we think are important to mention.

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And we wanted to share with you two achievements:

A Three-Year Legal Struggle Bears Fruit

We are pleased to report that the Ministry of Religious Services has issued new guidelines for the process of election of municipal rabbis. These changes have been made following recommendations issued by the High Court of Justice, as a result of a petition we presented three years ago which was pleaded by Adv. Assaf Benmelech.

The purpose of the new guidelines is to ensure availability of a local rabbi who better reflects the nature, wishes, and needs of the resident community. The Electoral Committee for Chief Rabbis will now include a significantly higher percentage of delegates from the local City Councils, i.e. an elected body which can better represent the constituents. Changes have also been made to guarantee 31% of women in the electoral body.

These new guidelines shift the balance of power from the religious council – anunelected body that is often affected by political interests – to the residents of the municipality, increasing the probability that the elected city rabbi will be one who can communicate with a broader audience and understand the real needs of the local population re religious services.

Clear Criteria for Electing Municipal Rabbis

This is the second time in a short time period that The Supreme Court effects policy in religious services. A little while ago, another petition led by Prof Adv. Aviad Hacohen, resulted in the announcement by the Chief Rabbinate that only rabbis who have passed the official qualification exam will be eligible to be appointed as municipal rabbis. This will allow a more transparent and fair process of electing local rabbis.

As in the past NTA will continue to try and improve the religious services in Israel through dialogue and consensus building with all of the parties involved – the Chief Rabbinate, Knesset members, and NGOs. However, when other means fail, we sometimes resort to taking legal action. In many cases, as in these two, decision makers accepted our claims once they were expressed through this channel, resulting in modification of the policy.

 We thank our donors who support the ancillary expenses associated with our efforts.

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