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September 08, 2013

Jewish Israelis Overwhelmingly Want Separation Of Religion And State, End To Haredi And Orthodox Monopoly On Religious Affairs

Israeli Flag"The toughest tension: 74% of the Jewish population (3 out of 4 respondents) sees the tension between secular and ultra-Orthodox populations as the most (or second-most) harsh domestic conflict in Israeli society. Other conflicts dramatically lag behind (47% - between political left and right and33% - between rich and poor)."


Here are what Hiddush calls the report's key findings:

• The toughest tension: 74% of the Jewish population (3 out of 4 respondents) sees the tension between secular and ultra-Orthodox populations as the most (or second-most) harsh domestic conflict in Israeli society. Other conflicts dramatically lag behind (47% - between political left and right and33% - between rich and poor).

• 83% of the Jewish population support freedom of religion and conscience in Israel.

• Exchanging vows, without the Chief Rabbinate: 62% support recognition of civil, Reform and Conservative marriages in Israel (currently, only Orthodox marriages are recognized for Jews); 67% of secular Israeli Jews would prefer a non-Orthodox alternative for their own marriage or for their children.

• Same-sex marriage: 56% of Israeli Jews and 77% of secular Israelis believe that Israel should recognize same-sex marriage.

• Equality for all denominations: 67%, including 56% of Habayit Hayehudi (the Modern Orthodox party) voters, support granting equal recognition by the government to Rabbis from all Jewish denominations. Only 33% hold that the Chief Rabbinate and rabbinic courts should continue their monopoly on Judaism in Israel. This question was asked for the first time and indicates rising acceptance of Reform and Conservative Judaism. 70% of the Israeli Jews oppose the continued existence of Chief Rabbinate in its current form.

• Just leave the ultra-Orthodox out of it: Almost two-thirds of Israeli Jews (64%) support a government coalition without ultra-Orthodox parties.

• Keep on cutting: 75% support budget cuts to ultra-Orthodox yeshivas as motivation for seeking employment, 63% hold that the government should stop funding ultra-Orthodox schools that do not teach core curriculum (Math, science, English and civics). 79% hold that the government should require ultra-Orthodox schools to teach these core curricular studies.

• Support for Shabbat Shopping. Two-thirds of Israeli Jews (67%) support Shabbat business hours in shopping centers located outside of cities. 59% support the same policy for small markets and convenience stores. 64% support public transportation on Shabbat.

 • High government disapproval: 76% of the Israelis are not pleased with the government's activities regarding religion and state. 76% are not pleased with Yesh Atid party and its leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid's performance in this area, including 52% of Yesh Atid voters.

• Who are you calling religious? Though Habayit Hayehudi is the traditional choice for Modern Orthodox Israelis and a member of the government coalition, it's constituency is far more diversified on religious issues: 44% of its voters support separation of religion and state, 50% support opening shopping centers on Shabbat and holidays outside of cities and 56% support equal recognition of rabbis of all streams in Judaism.

*The Religion and State Index is conducted for Hiddush by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute. The study is based on telephone interviews, done between July 10-24th, 2013 with 800 adult Jewish respondents to represent the adult Jewish Israeli population. The 2013 Religion and State Index was published with support from the New Israel Fund of Canada.

The entire report as a PDF file:

Download 2013 Religion and State Index Full Report


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There will have to be a kulturkampf to do this. The Haredim and UO will never up power easily.

But at least Israeli Jews want Israel to become part of the 21st century. Now, they must translate it into action.

I have been saying this for years. In order for the country to survive economically and militarily, there must be total separation of Religion and State. That means that the welfare rolls are purged of perfectly healthy specimens who just want to study all day (who in reality work off the books). As much as the Gedolim whine and cry, the Haredim will be taken into the army and as children will be given a secular education.

This will not happen during Netanyahu's government, however, given the popularity of Yesh Atid, it is possible that there will be a government change within the next few years that will finally emasculate the Haredi dominance over life, death, marriage etc etc.

@Alter Kocker @12:29:

"EMASCULATE" superb word selection. And with a broader usage than what you intended, a wider spectrum, could also facilitate a reduction of the typical 14 litter Charedi families, thereby saving a truckload of taxpayer money on those who endorse lomdim yom va'layla.
Great comment.

Whereas I do not believe that having gigantic families should be part of a government's purview, I believe that a family should be able to support that many children. Government policy must be that a perfectly healthy male parent cannot elect to take himself out of the "earning cycle"
of the family and require that the government subsidize his lifestyle. That is unsustainable and presents hardship for the secular and non-orthodox citizen. The Gedolim have tended to view the secular majority of Israelis as slave labour. They are there to earn so that the Haredi minority can spend their days "Torah Learning".

The bottom line in all of this is that the grasp of the Haredi Leadership in all phases of Israeli life must be severed. From cradle to grave the religion cannot dictate how a child is educated, where and how a person chooses to marry, whether that person is conscripted into the military, and finally where the persons are buried. The taxpayer cannot be further burdened when a yeshiva educated person cannot read or write, cannot grasp simple mathematics, believes science is an evil goyish invention, history does not exist, just biblical history, geography is goyish etc etc. The taxpayer cannot be burdened with 5-10 child families with no working parent, on welfare and increasing stipends for more children. The taxpayer cannot be burdened with bus lines that are tax funded but will not run on the sabbath and are forced gender separated. This is not sustainable and the Israeli taxpayer is buckling under the pressure.

Somewhat pikanti or inexplicable that they learn no math, but often are experts at financial fraud. I find myself speculating re the normal bell curve, as relating to IQ. What percentage of these "live off the teat of the gov't parasites, both in Israel and US) have sufficient intelligence to justify the taxpayer to "groom" them to be possibly among G'dolai Hador. Heck, most of those cheat on their smichah exams and are fraudsters or pedophiles or refer to the Religous Zionists as Amalek. And it's not clear re their priorities (the order), do they first want to commit mass suicide rather than submit to the draft, or do they first want to go to civil war against Amalek and to protest the worst crime in the Torah, "elections".
WTH did that come from?.
Sorry to be so flippant after your superb highly intelligent well thought out comment.

I am generally for this. I do think we need a national standard for status issues. But there is no reason we need a central rabbinate to attain it. Am Israel did fine for over a thousand years without one. At some point we may need a sanherdin (different from the current rabbinate and only with the will of the people), but the state does not need the rabbinate to survive. I honestly don't get the orthodox fear on this issue. Israelis overwhelmingly associate Judaism with orthodoxy and statistically, the number of non-orthodox rabbis / congregations in Israel is a fringe / anomaly. Its not like opening up the playing field would pose a serious threat to orthodox dominance. Israelis who don't go to orthodox synagogues almost invariably don't go at all, anyways. And, any status problems (like mamzeirut) would end up being batul b'rov and forgotten amid the hazakha of taharut in the long-run, anyways. The rabbinate is corrupt and a killul hashem. Its better for the orthodox rabbis if the rabbinate doesn't represent them.

I would be wary of anything published by the New Israel Fund

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