As the Hebrew year is about to end and the new year begins, I wanted to share with you some encouraging pluralism-related findings. Yesterday Hiddush published its annual Religion and State Index for 2017. The general trend is encouraging:
Increased support for separation of religion & state: 68% support separation of religion & state, compared to 63% last year and 61% two years ago.
Freedom of Marriage for all: 67% support the State of Israel recognizing all forms of marriage. 50% would prefer a non-Orthodox marriage alternative outside of the Chief Rabbinate.
Opposition to the Conversion Bill: 73% oppose the Conversion Bill's intention to limit recognition of conversions performed in Israel only to those carried out with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate.
Participation of Diaspora Jewry in the battle for religious freedom in Israel: 55% (and 76% of secular Jews) support the Diaspora Jewry's active involvement in promoting freedom of religion and pluralism in Israel.
You can read the full report here.
In addition, last week Dor 1.5 with Yisrael Hofsheet (Be Free Israel) started a mini campaign to encourage Russian-speaking Israelis to speak out on the fact that they cannot get married in Israel. They produced 3 personal-stories videos which are published on social media, along with other media work (here is one Facebook video). Vesty – the most widespread Russian newspaper in Israel – did a cover story on the issue, you can see it here (you can use google translate to get the general sense of the story).
This mini-campaign is actually the product of the micro grant iRep gave Dor 1.5 (young Russian speaking Israelis). Yisrael Hofsheet (Be Free Israel) partnered with them and invested significant additional resources (from other sources) to produce additional videos and do the campaign.
I wish all of you a happy and productive year.
May we all have the strength and wisdom to do the work that will create a better future for our people, families and ourselves.