Justice in Israel

The right of single parents to attend university & receive guaranteed minimum income

No Comments 09 November 2016

 The Knesset has enacted a law allowing single parents to pursue academic studies while receiving a guaranteed income, but government regulations are preventing the realization of this right. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Thursday: Information session on new debt and bankruptcy legislation

No Comments 06 November 2016

Many people deal with debt, and for some,  bankruptcy is an opportunity to start a new page.  The Knesset is currently discussing a new proposed law dealing with this issue.  We at Rabbis for Human Rights, after consulting with people who are living in debt,  have already studied the legislation and identified points that, in our opinion, need to be changed.  Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Occupied Territories

Violations against rights of nationalistic crime suspects must be monitored

No Comments 13 September 2016

RHR to Israel’s Internal Security Service: Human rights violations against those suspected of nationalistic crimes and terrorism must be monitored. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Initial Progress on Recouping Bail Fees

No Comments 05 September 2016

Although there is still no explanation as to how one can recoup bail fees on the Israeli police website,  we have discovered that now there is a system for tracking the status of the bail funds paid by uncharged suspects.

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Justice in Israel

Response of the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty to the Approval of the State Budget

No Comments 01 September 2016

The Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty calls upon the Government to act on its promise to implement the recommendations of the “Committee for Combatting Poverty,”  leading to a steady decline in the extent and depth of poverty and the expansion of equal opportunities. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Difficulties recouping bail hurts the nation’s weakest

No Comments 29 August 2016

An article in Haaretz was published on August 29th in response to a “Freedom of Information Act” request filed by Rabbis for Human Rights coupled with months of assistance trying to recoup the cost of bail for a struggling Ethiopian family.

Read the full article here

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General, Justice in Israel

The “catch-22” of poverty, bureaucracy, and vacations—and how it could easily be solved

No Comments 22 August 2016

On Sunday [August 21st, 2016], a woman arrived at our Hadera Rights Center. She works as a kindergarten aide. This month she is on vacation, not of her own choice, but because all kindergartens are closed. Since she gets paid per hour of work (known as an hourly employee), she does not get a salary for this month. She had hoped to take advantage of these vacation days in order to run some errands. However:

  • The Social Security Office is on hiatus;
  • The Welfare Office is on hiatus.

Without documents from these offices, she cannot run her other errands. After we helped her arrange a schedule for all her tasks, she said: “When they [these governmental offices] come back from their break, I will be back at work, and won’t be able to take off vacation days so as to go to them.”

Hourly employees may take off paid vacation days only under specific conditions, and if they are living in poor conditions, every vacation day without pay is problematic for them. Moreover, hourly employees have difficulty taking vacation days at the timing they require because of their weak status at their jobs. Often, they are very limited in their options. Thus, our kindergarten aide is in a “catch-22.”

A simple solution would be that the bureaucratic offices of public and governmental bodies who address the needs of the public, especially of those who live in poverty, would work in the afternoon hours at least part of the week, so that the public could reach them after their work day. In contrast to the stereotype, most of those who live in poverty are employed, and most of those employed work from the morning to the afternoon.  Opening various institutions in the afternoon would benefit us all, but for those living in poverty, this is especially crucial.


Rabbi Idit Lev


Justice in Israel

Escaping Poverty: Demonstration against the 2017-2019 State Budget

No Comments 14 August 2016

On Thursday August 11 2016, the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty came out to demonstrate in front of the Prime Minister’s offices in a demand to put the fight against poverty on the agenda of  the proposed 2017-2019 State budget.  About sixty demonstrators and two Knesset members were present. Several participants expressed the demands of those living in poverty.

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Justice in Israel

Response to passing of Law for the Government Authority for Urban Renewal

No Comments 09 August 2016

Achievements in the field of urban renewal are clear with the passing of a new law in early August 2016 establishing a government body for urban renewal.
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Justice in Israel

The amendments to the Guaranteed Income law won’t significantly impact single mothers seeking to work and pull her family out of poverty.

No Comments 31 July 2016

Image: Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, Knesset website

Image: Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, Knesset website

The amendments to the Guaranteed Income law, passed last week by the Labor, Welfare and Health committee, will not have a significant impact on single mothers who wish to work and pull her family out of poverty. Our concern is that the law – although containing minor positive elements – will work to disband public outcry around the difficulties of low-income single mothers. It is not everyday that the Knesset discusses this difficult issue, and the fact that a law impacting this population passed without suggesting a comprehansive solution to single mothers is a lost opportunity.

That said, the language of the law did improve due to the committed work of social justice organizations, women’s organization and involved MKs. Up until now, a woman receiving guaranteed income who started to work, under certain conditions, would lose her eligibility for various crucial accompanying benefits. The current law now protects a specific group of single mothers from losing their social rights. Nevertheless, the need for more signficant reform arises from the reality on the ground, calling us to heed the vision of Maimonides that the highest form of justice allow those living in poverty to support themselves so that “he need no longer be dependent upon others.”

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