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Reform Judaism

  • Ultra-Orthodox anger over Western Wall deal isn't about American Jews

    The Israeli government's decision to abandon a deal creating an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall led to an unprecedented rift with Diaspora Jewry. But American Jews, and the Reform Movement in particular, are merely collateral damage — caught in the crossfire of an internal ultra-Orthodox power struggle. By Eli Bitan With all the coverage of the brouhaha among Diaspora Jewry over the suspension of a deal to create a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall, one might reasonably think that the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Israeli government chalked up a victory last week. They didn’t. The real…

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  • U.S. Jews can’t expect Israel to be liberal only where they want it to

    Liberal American Jewry is up in arms after the Israeli government nixed a deal to allow men and women to pray together at Judaism's holiest site. But if American Jews want their interests in Israel safeguarded, they must rid themselves of the fantasy of a nonexistent Jewish pluralism. The Netanyahu government created an uproar across the Jewish world on Sunday by rolling back an agreement to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall where men and women could pray together. The compromise would also have brought representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements into a committee meant to manage that space. [tmwinpost] That arrangement…

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  • Right-wing TV station ordered to include Reform, Conservative Judaism

    A public television channel with a right-wing Zionist slant asks for permission to start a nightly newscast. Israel's Communications Ministry says sure, but only if they start including 'every stream of Judaism.' By Raanan Shemesh Forshner Israel’s Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting (CCSB), part of the Communications Ministry, accepted last week a request from Channel 20 to start broadcasting nightly news programs. The channel in turn accepted the Council’s demand that it join the Israel Press Council. In addition, following the Reform Movement’s opposition to the granting of a license to Channel 20, the council ruled that the…

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  • Let's fight women's oppression without demonizing ultra-Orthodox

    The struggle against women's oppression is one thing, but painting an entire group as barbarians in the name of 'enlightened' ideas is another thing.  One can argue over whether asking a woman to move seats so that an ultra-Orthodox man does not have to sit beside her is a legitimate request. Clearly, the trend to remove women from public spaces has to be resisted. But to characterize this confrontation as "the war between light and darkness" is wrong. [tmwinpost] The incident in question, which took place on El Al flight 028 from Newark to Tel Aviv was seemingly minor: a flight attendant asked an…

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  • WATCH: Will you use Western Wall's new 'mixed prayer plaza?'

    After years of negotiations with reform and conservative movements of Judaism and ‘Women of the Wall,’ the Israeli government agreed to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where men and women can pray in the same space. We went to the Western Wall to ask people how they feel about the decision, and whether they would use the mixed prayer plaza. Read more: Women of the Wall victory can teach us a few things 'Why I cannot stand with Women of the Wall'

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