As part of its ongoing series on “Jewish Ideals & Current Dilemmas in Contemporary Zionism,” the Tikvah Overseas Seminars hosted two of Israel’s leading rabbinic activists, David Stav and Seth Farber to discuss recent legislation regarding marriage and conversion in Israel.
They have worked together to promote bills that will allow greater numbers of municipal rabbis to register couples for marriage and perform conversions under the auspices of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. While heralded by some as an opportunity to prevent intermarriage by increasing the number of Israelis recognized as Jews, these initiatives have been criticized by others as further entrenchment of the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over marriage and conversion. Their conversation highlights disagreements regarding civil marriage in Israel, conversion standards, and the ability of Jewish law to evolve. More broadly, their positions reflect different approaches toward reducing the tensions between the Jewish and democratic characters of the State of Israel.
The event was recorded on February 6, 2015. It is also available as a podcast via iTunes or Stitcher.
The Palestinians’ decision to “internationalize” their campaign for statehood by joining the ICC and other world bodies has added a new dimension to their ongoing confrontation with Israel. This gambit — coming at a time when the Fatah-Hamas leadership struggle continues and when Israel is preparing for elections in March — has raised the profile of long-simmering problems following a summer of intercommunal violence and open warfare in Gaza.
Please join Washington Institute experts Dennis Ross, David Makovsky, and Ghaith al-Omari as they discuss the current status of relations between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the prospects for resuming peace talks. Ross and Makovsky have just returned from the region, where they met with high-level officials on both sides. Webcast begins at 12:30 p.m. EST on January 29, 2015.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is the Institute’s counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow. He has served in five U.S. administrations and worked directly with three presidents, including as point man on the peace process in the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations.
David Makovsky is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Institute. From December 2013 to September 2014, he served as senior advisor on Secretary of State Kerry’s peace process team.
Ghaith al-Omari, who just joined the Institute as a senior fellow, is former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. Previously, he served in various positions within the Palestinian Authority, including advisor to the negotiating team during the 1999-2001 permanent-status talks.