Tag Archive for ultra-Orthodox

Orthodox Jews Threaten to Leave Israel if Forced into IDF Service

Gov’t expected to compromise to avoid being portrayed as jailing Jews for continued study of Torah.

American senators promised to obtain refugee status for every Haredi family.

By Tsvi Sadan


Equal burden means that every Israeli citizen must serve in the IDF. In practice, however, 67 percent of the Jewish community and just 50 percent of all Israelis perform national service. To put it negatively, 50 percent of young Israelis are exempt from this burden, while the other half of society has to carry the extra weight.

Orthodox Jews Threaten to Quit Israel Over IDF Draft

Orthodox Jew anguishes at the thought of IDF service – Photo source Israel Today

Those who are exempt are primarily Arab Israelis – both Muslims and Christians, religious Jewish women, Orthodox yeshiva students, and other Jewish young men and women who can’t serve in the army for physical or psychological reasons. Continue Reading »

Jerusalem’s roads closed in for Ultra-Orthodox protest against IDF draft

Haredi demonstration expected to bring transportation chaos to Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem’s light rail & local buses to be seriously affected.


Traffic chaos is expected in Jerusalem this afternoon due to the scheduled mass demonstration by Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox) opposed to the government’s proposed military draft law.

Ultra-Orthodox protesters make their way to a rally against the military draft bill, March 2, 2014.

Ultra-Orthodox protesters make their way to a rally against the military draft bill, March 2, 2014.- Photo: Emil Salman

Jerusalem Police expect hundreds of thousands to attend the demonstration, which will take place in the area of the Bridge of Strings, at the main entrance to Jerusalem, and in the roads leading to it. Continue Reading »

Portman confronts local resistance over filming in Jerusalem

Israeli directorial debut to be shot in Haredi neighborhood of capital, to the chagrin of its residents.

By i24NEWS


Ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem are reportedly trying to forestall Hollywood star Natalie Portman from shooting scenes from her upcoming directorial debut in Israel’s capital, increasingly defined by its religious majority.

Natalie Portman – Photo: AFP

According to the Haaretz daily, Portman, is set to film in an ultra-Orthodox part of the Nahlaot neighborhood. While she coordinated the shoot with the Jerusalem Municipality, officials apparently failed to inform the residents, who wrote a letter complaining that the filming will take place near synagogues and yeshivot. Continue Reading »

Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox men take to the streets over IDF enlistment


Clashes & arrests reported with Haredim holding protests in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak & other cities with haredi communities.

The demonstrations are being organized by radical haredim and are held in protest at gov’t move to withhold funds to yeshivas.

By Ynet reporters


Thousands of haredi men held protests throughout the country Thursday, following the arrest of a haredi draft-dodger and against the backdrop of a bill intended to enforce the enlistment of haredi youths into the IDF.

Twelve haredi men were arrested for allegedly disturbing the peace at one demonstration in Jerusalem.

Earlier Thursday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid decided to freeze all the funds intended for yeshivas in the wake of a High Court ruling that the State must stop funding yeshiva students who had not enlisted. Continue Reading »

Israel’s High Court cuts state funding for draft-dodging yeshiva students


High Court of Justice rules in an interim order forbidding the gov’t from funding yeshiva students whose draft date was delayed by defense minister.

By Aviel Magnezi

In a dramatic decision Tuesday, the High Court of Justice, composed of nine justices – with a majority of eight to one – issued an interim order forbidding the government from funding yeshiva students whose draft date was delayed.

An ultra-Orthodox soldier in the field. – Photo courtesy: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The decision applies to yeshiva students aged 18 to 20, who were served with enlistment orders beginning in August 2013 and have not reported at the recruitment center because of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon‘s decision to delay the draft date because “the question of jurisdiction over them is doubtful.” Continue Reading »

Technion Preparatory Program Prepares Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox for Hi-Tech

Newly opened university preparatory program is designed to open the hi-tech workforce for the hareidi.

By Ari Yashar


Amid high tensions over the integration of hareidi-religious Jews into the IDF and the workforce, Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology has inaugurated a mechina (university preparatory) program specifically designed to attract more hareidim into its hi-tech programs.

Technion program for hareidi – Screenshot

While hareidi schools are supposed to teach 55%-75% “core studies,” including science and math, the website No Camels reports that many hareidi schools do not follow the guidelines, teaching a curriculum that emphasizes Torah study to the omission of secular studies. Continue Reading »

New Haredi ‘tourist spot’: IKEA’s summer sale


Ultra-Orthodox institutions offer special stop after trips to burial places of biblical figures and rabbis’ tombs, to the Swedish home furnishing store in Rishon Lezion.

By Moshe Heller

Home furnishing stores in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood are in for some bad news: Ultra-Orthodox institutions have begun offering special trips to IKEA’s summer sale in the central city of Rishon Lezion.

File:903. Ikea Israel near Nethanya.jpg

IKEA in Israel – Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A local bus company recently organized a trip from Beit Shemesh to Rachel’s Tomb, the Western Wall and the IKEA store in Rishon Lezion, which is in the midst of its summer sale. Continue Reading »

IDF Haredim soldiers build new Electronic Warfare System

Ultra-Orthodox IDF soldiers participate in development of new & advanced electronic warfare system.


A., 29, thankful for the opportunity to ‘give not only to the army, to the people of Israel, but also to the place from which I come as someone setting a precedent’.

By Yoav Zitun

far from the limelight, haredi soldiers serving in the army are racking up impressive accomplishments. Ultra-Orthodox soldiers serving in the army’s Computer Services Directorate have recently completed development of an advanced electronic warfare system, which significantly improves the operational abilities of forces along the nothern and Gaza borders.

ע', אחד הבוגרים (צילום: דובר צה"ל)

I., one of the program graduates – Photo: IDF Spokesperson

The secret system provides an operational solution to a gap which existed within the army in terms of daily security. Continue Reading »

Meet the 1st ultra-Orthodox to enlist into IAF flying school

Modern day ‘Pioneer’ says he always wanted to be a pilot.

Family: We wanted him to become a Torah scholar, but we support his decision.

By Akiva Novic

In the midst of the political turmoil surrounding the universal draft bill, an 18-year-old ultra-Orthodox youth is set to make history by being the first haredi to enlist in the IAF’s hugely prestigious flying school.

Illustrative Photo Courtesy, Israel Air Force

Illustrative Photo Courtesy, Israel Air Force

Becoming a flight pilot is a childhood dream for Y., whose father heads a Chabad center, and expected his son to follow the family tradition and devote himself wholesale to the study of Torah. Continue Reading »

IDF’s Swearing-in ceremony for new haredi troops relocated for fear of riots

IDF heard ultra-Orthodox ‘zealots’ planned demonstration during ceremony, originally scheduled for Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, so the ceremony

 was moved to an army base. Soldiers: Disappointed but understand.

By Kobi Nachshoni

The Netzah Yehuda Battalion, which consists of combat ultra-Orthodox soldiers, cancelled a swearing-in ceremony scheduled for Thursday for fear that extremist haredim from “zealous” groups would protest during the event against the recruitment of yeshiva students to the army and civil service, Ynet has learned.

(צילום: אהרון והב - סוכנות הידיעות "חדשות 24")

Haredi riots in Jerusalem – Photo: Aharon Rahav – News 24

The ceremony was set to take place at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. Continue Reading »

Israel’s new gov’t is gunning for reform – but at who’s expense?

A month after Israel’s new gov’t took office, its ministers began to advanced a series of measures destined to appease the middle-class, but, does it matter if those reforms come at the expense of others, such as the ultra-Orthodox?


Without a doubt, the winds of reform and revolutions are blowing in our land. The finance minister declares “war” on behalf of the working man. The prime minister states that no labor strike will deter him from lowering the price of cars or from implementing a “huge” reform in the ports. The transportation minister has discovered that the sky’s the limit, the interior minister is considering extending daylight saving time, and the minister of communications is bent on shaking up the pay-per-view television market in favor of freebie TV. Continue Reading »

Police arrest ‘modesty squad’ that ‘terrorized’ Beitar Illit


The two ultra-Orthodox men that have been harassing the city’s female residents for what they claim is unchaste behavior, have been caught & arrested.

By Eli Senyor


Two ultra-Orthodox men were arrested Monday for instilling what allegedly heading a “modesty squad” that terrorized the female residents of Beitar Illit over what they deemed their “immodest behavior.”

Two ultra-Orthodox menThe two, both in the 30s, are believed to be responsible for what the police called “a reign or terror.”

The two are suspected of a line of violent acts including threats, beatings, kidnappings and more, against what they believe are indecent women, and at times – men. Continue Reading »

Haredi Rabbi: 12 Reasons Why Secular Israelis Reject Haredim

Here’s a refreshing perspective from a respected Haredi Rabbi with a clear view of the Haredi contribution to the problems between the secular & the ultra-Orthodox.



Rabbi Dovid Bloch is the official spokesman for the Nahal Haredi, the Netzah Yehuda IDF battalion, was among its founders, and is the spiritual guide (mashgiach ruchani) of its recruits. This part of his record is impeccable, as far as secular Israelis are concerned. Rabbi Bloch studied at Yeshivat Ponivez and for many years served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Midrashia in Pardes Hanah. He currently is a Ram (Rosh Metivta) in Nahora Yeshiva High School and a Rosh Kollel in Jerusalem. Continue Reading »

Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu plans to draft 60% of Haredim up to age 24

Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu proposal submitted to  Habayit Hayehudi & Yesh Atid as part of coalition negotiations.

Prof. Eugene Kandel on Saturday publicly presented the main points of his proposal for distributing the burden of military service more equally. The proposal was submitted last week to Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi by Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu during the latter’s coalition negotiations with the two parties.

Ilan Assayag

Eugene Kandel – Photo by Ilan Assayag

The program calls for drafting more than 60 percent of ultra-Orthodox men up to the age of 24, while offering government incentives to these conscripts and the yeshivas from which they they were drafted. Continue Reading »

Israel also faces existential economic threat, but from within

The threat:  Today, Ultra-Orthodox & Arab populations largely do not contribute to the mainstream workforce or pay taxes. 

By Israel Today Staff


Outgoing Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer this week stated that Israel has one of the strongest and most resilient economies in the world.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer says he is more optimistic about the Israeli economy than he was two months ago. – Photo: Dudi Vaaknin


However, Israel is facing a very serious existential threat… well, many existential threats, really, but one of those threats is the economy itself.

Israel is a fully welfare state, and there are two large sectors – the ultra-Orthodox Jews and the Arabs – which largely do not contribute to the mainstream workforce or pay taxes. Continue Reading »