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Weekly News Items from the Israeli press, February 2, 2012

  

Federation Projects in the Israeli Press

Ethiopian Jews confront psychological trauma

(Jpost) While many former immigrants from Ethiopia suffer from deep psychological scars, state agencies have so far ignored issue.

 

Virtual center sharpens elderly minds, staves off loneliness

(Jpost) The program enables elderly individuals to connect with day care centers via Skype.

 

800 volunteers gather for Super Sunday

(Ynet) UJA-Federation of New York’s annual phone-a-thon aims to raise money to care for people in need, inspire passion for Jewish life and learning, strengthen Jewish communities around globe

 

JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

American Jews trek across Israel

(Ynet) Young group hikes across country's longest trail for 5 months as part of a new program designed to encourage young Jews to get to know Israel

 

Welfare and Social Issues

Defense minister proposes revised Tal Law

(Jpost) Demonstration continues at central train station against law that gives yeshiva students different conditions for army service.

 

Should the Tal Law be amended to encourage more haredi enlistment in the IDF?

(Jpost) Jpost poll data on what people think about Haredi enlistment into the IDF

 

 U.S. immigrant takes honor in representing Israel in London Olympics

(Haaretz) American immigrant Jillian Schwartz is pleased as pie to be representing Israel in London.

 

Religious Pluralism in Israel

'Appoint non-Orthodox Jerusalem rabbi'

(Ynet) Reform Movement petitions High Court, claiming allotment of funds to Orthodox neighborhood rabbis only is 'forbidden discrimination'

 

Israeli Periphery

Rocket salvo hits Negev, breaking relative calm

(Jpost) Regional council heads warn that parts of South out of Iron Dome’s protective range, lack bomb-proof structures.

 

Jewish World

Battling the rabbinate’s bias against women

(Jpost) Bias backed by politicians and lobbyists who care more about coalition politics than gender equality.

 

New Orthodox group puts Israeli women at its head

(Haaretz) 'Beit Hillel' hopes to counter creeping religious extremism.

 

Rabbis work to verify Jewish status

(Ynet) Shorashim center works to help people whose religion is questioned by Rabbinate. Organization's new Moscow office inaugurated last week

 

Education

A school for all students

(Jpost) Ra’anana parents celebrate opening of pluralistic, traditional public school.

 

Israel among world's most educated countries

(Jpost) OECD report indicates that Israel ranks second in percentage of population with post-secondary degrees.

 

Demographics

Thousands Enter Israel Illegally in January

(Israel National News) Thousands entered the Jewish State illegally last month and in December, according to Israel's Border Authority. Most were from Africa.

 

Israel-US Relations

Rabbis hold 1st mixed-prayer service in Knesset

(Jpost) Group of male, female rabbis and communal leaders from North America make afternoon prayers as per conservative customs.

 

Israeli Economy

'Low haredi workforce participation must end'

(Jpost) Speaking at Herzliya conference, Stanley Fisher expresses concern over 40% haredi employment, Arab community.

 

Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yisrael Hayom implores, "Will it take us another 60 years to understand that bloated governments are the root to all of our problems and not the solution?  Will it take another half a century to understand that we will not receive good education, for example, by expanding the failed government-education monopoly to include children aged 3-6?"  The author concludes that, "Only a lean government can fulfill its legitimate role: Security and upholding the law.  A burden of roles (many contradictory) causes it to fail."

 

Ma'ariv argues that, "There is no need to enforce conscription.  It is possible to fight draft dodging through budgets. It is possible to impose a quota on full-time yeshiva students.  Only the best would qualify.  All of the rest can continue dodging the draft, but on their own account.  Not on ours.  The same thing must be implemented towards other dodgers – Jews and Arabs.  They will be obliged to perform an alternative national service.  Not by force.  Whoever would insist on avoidance would pay for it through his own pocket; higher university tuitions, and so on and so forth, a series of mechanisms which would provide much more to those who contribute and less to those who do not."