Justice in Israel, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Torah Portion: What makes a good leader?

No Comments 06 January 2015

In Parashat Shmot, Rabbi Idit Lev examines Moses, one of our people’s greatest leaders, and asks what we should remember from his story as we prepare to enter the voting booth. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel, Legal Work

In letter to Attorney General, RHR demands illegal sale of public housing apartments stop

No Comments 05 January 2015

On Thursday January 1 2015, Rabbis for Human Rights along with the Public Housing Forum sent a letter to the legal advisor of Israel’s government demanding that, in addition to an investigation of how it happened, the sale of public housing apartments to party affliates of Building Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) be stopped. While thousands of citizens wait years for public housing apartments, these apartments were sold at prices substantially below market value, often to religious institutions.

UPDATE: On the morning of Sunday, January 4th, the Ministry announced the sales are being stopped.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 2.51.07 PM

Below is the letter sent by RHR:


View the letter as a pdf

Related articles:

The Times of Israel: MKs up in arms over report minister sold public housing

General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories

HaArakhim Hallalu– The Values With Which We Must Light Our World

No Comments 22 December 2014

As an NGO, RHR cannot endorse any political candidate or party over another. But what we can do is remind folks who are voting to bring our values with them into the voting booth. 

In this post originally posted on his blog on The Times of Israel site, Rabbi Ascherman wonders what kind a society will we choose to be. With elections coming in March, now is the time for all of us to recommit ourselves to our Jewish values, and to ask questions of our leaders and candidates so that we may vote in a way that honors those values.

Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter

On Mountains, Caves and Empowerment: Hanukah Thoughts 5775

No Comments 16 December 2014

Hanukah Thoughts 5775

By: Rabbi Arik Ascherman Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Press Releases

This Wednesday, Tell the government: Stop neglecting poverty

No Comments 16 November 2014

PRESS RELEASE| November 14th 2015

Please join us this Wednesday (November 19 2014) at the Knesset’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as we demand the government stop ignoring poverty in Israel.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at the Knesset

In the coming weeks the government is expected to approve the final budget for the coming year. This budget, however,  ignores more than 1.755 million people living in poverty in Israel. For these people, they will continue to live without essential rights, including the right to shelter, educational stipends,  and the right to search for employment without impediments. In a preliminary examination of the draft budget, the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty concluded that despite slogans and statements from elected officials that say otherwise, it seems the government intends to continue to neglect both the people in Israel living in poverty, as well as the problem of poverty in general that plagues our state.

On Wednesday, November 19 2014, the Knesset will mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, led by Knesset members Ilan Gilon, Orly Levy-Abekasis and Chaim Katz, in conjunction with the Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty. The day will focus on the fight against poverty through the implementation  of the recommendations of the Alaluf Committee to Fight Poverty  into the upcoming budget of 2015.

As part of the day the Knesset committees will discuss the selected recommendations from the Alaluf report alongside ways to implement them immediately in the current budget. The day of discussions will be held in the main chamber of the Knesset and will address the question of how to influence the Israeli government to implement the recommendations of the Committee in the 2015 budget.

Agenda (subject to change)

09:00 Knesset committee discussions

  •  The Knesset Interior and Environmental Protection – public housing – allocation of public housing tenants apartments Sde Dov
  • The Education, Culture and Sport – application of differential budgeting in the education system and application of the Alaluf report
  •  Labor, Welfare and Health – setting a maximum threshold for the number of families treated by family social worker, increasing standards and an equitable distribution (of what….?)
  • Economic Committee – Discussion bill public housing tenant rights (information transparency in housing) of the lobby for public housing
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child – Poverty among children in Israel following the UNICEF report

14:00 Conference Centers

  • Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog
  • Eli Alaluf, chairman of the Alaluf Committee to Fight Poverty
  • National Insurance CEO, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef

Registration required: Click here to register (limited spots available)

Facebook event listing here

Partner organizations in the community to combat poverty:

*Union of Social Workers*Anu*Prisoner Rights*Israeli Association for Ethiopian Jewry* Association for Civil Rights in Israel*Society for Patient Rights in Israel*Unit for Community Work-Bat Yam*The Israeli Center for the Promotion of Social Justice*Sikkuy*Internships for Social Change- Beersheva*Students for Social Work*Social Safety Network*Rabbis for Human Rights*Haifa Cooperative for Stopping the Cycle of Poverty*Shatil*Yes for the Elderly-Promoting Senior Rights*Activists from communities living in poverty

General, Justice in Israel

November 19th: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

No Comments 10 November 2014

The Forum for the Struggle Against Poverty

along with Knesset members Ilan Gilon, Orly Levi-Abekasis and Chaim Katz

invite you to the Knesset on November 19th for

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel

New Report: Israel fourth in child poverty in the developed world

No Comments 29 October 2014

new report released by UNICEF shows that Israel is fourth in the developed world in child poverty, following Greece, Latvia, and Spain. Since 2008, child poverty in Israel has increased from 35.1 to 35.6 percent.

Rabbi Idit Lev of Rabbis for Human Rights

Rabbi Idit Lev of Rabbis for Human Rights

Haaretz: Israel is fourth in the developed world for child poverty, Unicef says

Rabbi Idit Lev, Director of RHR’s Social Justice in Israel department,  responds:

This new report is yet another reminder of how dire the situation is in Israel. Poverty is an on-going issue in our society, and if it continues to be ignored, it will explode in all of our faces.

In June 2014 the Alaluf Committee, tasked by the Welfare Ministry with tackling the issue of poverty in the country, gave a number of important recommendations which, if implemented, would fight poverty by cutting it in half. The government, however, has refused to implement the recommendations, citing the cost of 8 million NIS as too high. Instead, the Welfare Minister has announced that a total of 1.7 million NIS will be used towards the recommendations, an amount that is not nearly enough to even make a dent in the problem.

Until the government is willing to take poverty in Israel seriously enough to invest in solutions, these types of damning reports will continue.

Education, General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories

International Student Programs and Study Tour Dates – 5775 (2014-2015)

2 Comments 14 October 2014

RABBINICAL, CANTORIAL, AND EDUCATION STUDENTS: Get involved and learn how Israel can truly embody  our highest Jewish values! Join us this year in any number of ways and study the profound connection between human rights and Judaism. RHR offers student tours, service opportunities, and internship possibilities in a range of areas focusing on everything from socio-economic justice in Israel and the Negev Bedouin to African asylum seekers.

NOTE: While these programs are specially geared towards international students in rabbinical, cantorial, and Jewish education fields, they are open to all.

Continue Reading

Justice in Israel, Legal Work

His day in court: Legal victory marks step forward in the fight to save public housing

No Comments 06 October 2014

RHR Advocate Becky Cohen-Keshet specializes in public housing in Israel. On Thursday October 2nd, the day before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, where Jews atone for their sins and believe their fates for the coming year to be sealed, she achieved a victory for public housing at the High Court. It is our hope that this case will act as a stepping stone in our struggle to save public housing in Israel, so that all those in need of a stable, safe home will have one.   Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter

Yom Kippur Thoughts 5775: Distinguishing between Masui and Ratsui

No Comments 03 October 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Click here for RHR’s annual Yom Kippur vidui. The annual Assif Rukhani (Spiritual Harvest – The list of some of what is good and positive about Israel and Israelis, as well as some of RHR’s accomplishments in this past year) will be posted on our website (www.rhr.org.il/eng) on Sunday, along with beautiful ushpizin (Sukkah guests) posters featuring original artwork depicting some of those who we wish to welcome into our sukkah and into our hearts. Continue Reading

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