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Is Israel’s Orthodox Monopoly Ending?

The Supreme Court decision recognizing Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel has reignited attention to the issue.

A High Court of Justice hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on May 4, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP)
A High Court of Justice hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on May 4, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP)

The decision by Israel’s Supreme Court recognizing Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel has reignited attention around issues of state and religion, especially in the eve of what has become a bi-annual national election.

In this episode of For Heaven’s Sake, a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain analyze this landmark decision – discussed in the Supreme court for over a decade – which recognizes that perpetuating Orthodox authority over issues of personal status violates Israel’s legal commitment to human freedom and dignity for all of its citizens, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnic, or sexual identities.

For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of Machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.”

Subscribe to For Heaven’s Sake on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you receive your podcasts.

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