Tag archive for "Rabbi Kobi Weiss"

Justice in Israel

May the New Year & Its Blessings Begin: “Little Sister” for a contemporary Israel

No Comments 19 September 2017

Little Sister is a famous piyut (hymn) that opens the liturgy for Rosh Hashanah. It was written by the Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Chazan of Girona in the 13th century. The piyut describes the suffering of the Jews in the Diaspora and ends each verse with the words: “May the year and its curses come to an end!” The last verse wishes for better days and ends with the words: “May the New Year with its blessings begin.”

Under its inspiration, members of the social justice team at Rabbis for Human Rights composed a modern piyut based on the department’s work in the last year. The result is a modern Israeli hymn that constitutes a contemporary Jewish social manifesto. Continue Reading


Touring Jerusalem with RHR’s Jezreel Valley College Beit Midrash students

No Comments 07 May 2017

On Tuesday April 18 2017 participants of RHR’s human rights Beit Midrash program at Jezreel Valley College toured Jerusalem and learned about human rights on both sides of the wall.

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Justice in Israel

Important recent successes by the Forum for Public Housing

2 Comments 13 March 2017

Over the last year, the Forum for Public Housing, a coalition of organizations of which Rabbis for Human Rights is actively involved, made a number of important successes. Continue Reading


Tisha B’Av: Fasting is not good for your health! – Prophet Zecharia edition

No Comments 11 August 2016

Saturday evening marks the start of Tisha B’Av, when Jews across the world fast to commemorate many of the tragedies befallen on the Jewish people. But is fasting truly needed in this day and age, when we have returned to the land of Israel, strong and free? Rabbi Kobi Weiss allows the Prophet Zacharia to address the question. Continue Reading

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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General, Justice in Israel

Supporting community activists to ensure urban renewal in Haifa is done right

No Comments 30 May 2016

Rabbis for Human Rights continues to be involved with community activists and Members of the Knesset as plans for urban renewal in lower income Haifa neighbourhoods develop. Our work supports the activists in order to ensure that the process will not harm their social and economic rights. 

Rabbis for Human Rights on Urban Renewal:

Urban renewal can be a solution to social problems but it also can exacerbate them if implemented without the input of the residents. The increased costs of residency for a populations living in poverty or in “lack,” without a formal alternative solution, may lead to a social crisis or a new and more severe national housing crisis. However, it’s not too late to prevent this.

Rabbi Kobi Weiss on a recent event (Sunday May 29) arranged by RHR bringing together community activists and legislators:

I had the honor of guiding an amazing group of urban renewal activists in Western Haifa and connecting them to the activities of the Knesset’s Urban Renewal Committee. MKs with us, pictured in order of seating (from right) include Roy Folkman, Orly Levi-Abekasis, Yossi Yona, Chaim Yellin, Eli Cohen and David Bitan. Next to them is Hedva Almog, Deputy Mayor of Haifa. The members of the Knesset committee heard from the residents about the social obstacles and the many gaps caused by currently forming legislation, the need for trust building processes, and the importance of proper public representation.

Haifa Tour

Haifa tour w activistsand MKS

BACKGROUND: The Committee For Urban Renewal in the Knesset decided to hear from the residents whose neighbourhoods will undergo urban renewal. The residents, who are middle to low or low income, will be removed and later returned to their homes and neighbourhoods after the process is finished. There is a concern that the residents won’t be unable to remain in their neighbourhoods due to increased property taxes and maintenance costs after the urban renewal process. Concern is especially focused on the elderly, who will likely have difficulty moving, and managing the increased costs.

This is a private initiative of the residents. The social services of the city of Haifa and the community of workers in Western haifa have guided the residents for years and conducted trainings making them experts in urban renewal; citizens are aware of their rights and the many complex aspects of this process

With the assistance of RHR, the information that was collected was made into position papers, which were submitted to the Knesset committee. The discussion on Sunday was based on those papers in addition to other issues that developed both on the ground and legislatively in the months following their submission.

Rabbis for Human Rights Social Justice Department will continue to work alongside community activists in order to ensure that urban renewal in Haifa will be done with the best interest of the residents in mind.

Justice in Israel, Press Releases

Amendments to Public Housing Transparency Bill passed in huge win for tenants

1 Comment 31 March 2016


The Amendments to the Public Housing Transparency Bill passed, the Forum for Public Housing celebrates an end of abuse and harassment of public housing tenants 

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Justice in Israel

Amendments to the public housing transparency bill passed in Knesset

No Comments 22 March 2016

On March 16th, amendments to the public housing transparency bill were passed in the Knesset. This marked an important day for human rights in general and to the residents of public housing specifically. Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: The obligation to place a mirror before the public’s eyes

No Comments 01 February 2016

What are the boundaries of responsibility for an individual? Are we only responsible for own actions or are we also responsible for the negligence of others? In what instances do we carry overall and uncompromising responsibility? In his Dvar Torah on Parashat Mishpatim, Rabbi Kobi Weiss explores these questions — just as relevant now as they were in the time of the Bible. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel

Photos: Tu B’Shevat tree planting in Beit Shean and social justice seder

1 Comment 26 January 2016

Yesterday, January 25th, Israeli public housing activists plant trees in a low-income Beit Shean neighborhood in honour of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees. We had originally planned for a larger planting, but due to bad weather we could only do a small symbolic planting instead.

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