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The Diversity of Israeli Society
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DIRECTOR S, KOL HAMACHONLETTER, When our Communication team finishes a new magazine issue I can t wait to get my. hands on a copy This time was no different You are holding our fifth issue and as with. the first four we have the pleasure of presenting you with substantive and thoughtful. writing about modern Israel, The issue you are now reading is dedicated to answering a call to action by Isra. el s president Reuven Rivlin urging Israelis as well as those outside of Israel who are. both personally and professionally invested in the country to take a hard look in the. mirror and acknowledge the current demographic state of Israeli society. The contents of this issue examine various developments and challenges related. to Israeli demographics The Israel Institute s president Itamar Rabinovich explores. Rivlin s statement in his piece on tribalism and pluralism in Israel s political system. Israel Institute Post Doctoral Fellows Assaf Shapira and Einat Lavee look at the. expansion of female representation in the Knesset and current trends in poverty. and inequality respectively Prof Julia Lerner a research grant recipient shares her. work on the cultural experiences of, Kol HaMachon, Israeli Russians nearly 20 years after. the largest share of emigrants from, Russia arrived in Israel. This magazine issue also goes, beyond demography to share with you.
THE VOICE OF THE ISRAEL INSTITUTE some exciting happenings from around. our Institute supported academic com, munity These include a conversation with Amb Zion Evrony who became an Israel. Institute visiting faculty member at the Catholic University of America here in Wash. ington D C shortly after completing his stint as Israel s Ambassador to the Holy See. Also in D C was the pathbreaking dancer and choreographer Ella Rothschild who. spent the fall term at Howard University Ella is the first instructor the Institute has. sent to a historically black college and university HBCU Ella s residency was a huge. success and sets the stage for exciting new opportunities down the road. As always I encourage you to look at our News and Notes section for an overview. of the amazing things our grantees and the greater Israel Studies community have. been up to this academic year across the United States and beyond. Dr Ariel Ilan Roth, Executive Director Israel Institute. 2 INSTITUTE MAGAZINE, CONTENTS FEATURES, p WINTER 2017. STATE OF ISRAEL, Understanding the, demographics of Israel. BY ABBY BERGREN WITH DR ILAI SALTZMAN, 2016 LEADERSHIP SUMMIT.
Experts discuss Israel s domestic, and international challenges. BY NOA LEVANON KLEIN, WOMEN IN THE KNESSET, A closer look at the forces shaping female. political representation in Israel, BY DR ASSAF SHAPIRA. What s Next CURRENT TRENDS OF, State of Israel Page 6 POVERTY IN ISRAEL. Israeli research on understanding and, alleviating poverty and inequality in Israel.
BY DR EINAT LAVEE, DEPARTMENTS 25, RUSSIA IN ISRAEL. 2 PRESIDENT S MEMO Examining the post Soviet renaissance. A Vision for the Future among Russian Israelis, BY AMB ITAMAR RABINOVICH BY DR JULIA LERNER. On the cover Illustration by Richard Mia, 4 SPOTLIGHT ACADEMIA. ISRAEL INSTITUTE STAFF, 28 SPOTLIGHT ARTS CULTURE President Amb Itamar Rabinovich. Executive Director Dr Ariel Ilan Roth, 32 NEWS NOTES Program Director Dr Erika Falk.
Director of Arts and Cultural Programs, Marge Goldwater. 36 PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS Associate Director of Development Communication. and Strategy Noa Levanon Klein, Associate Director of Academic Programs. Dr Ilai Saltzman, Program Coordinator Jill Wyler, Communication Coordinator Abby Bergren. In Russia in Israel learn more about Office Manager Kerren Marcus. Russian immigration to Israel Page 25, Design Spark Design. 2017 Israel Institute, PRESIDENT S MEMO, A Vision for.
In June 2015 the president of Israel Reuven Rivlin. delivered a speech at the Herzliya Conference, marking the first anniversary of his tenure The. speech has since been known as the speech about, the tribes and has become an important text in. Israeli public discourse, Amb Itamar Rabinovich, Israel Institute President The term new Israeli order is not an angry prophecy about the future said. President Rivlin it is a reality A reality that we can see today through the. makeup of the first grades in the Israeli educational system In the 1990s as. you can see in the slide behind me Israeli society was composed of a clear and. coherent majority alongside with minorities A large Zionist statist majority with. three minorities at its side a national religious minority an Arab minority and. a Haredi minority This image may have frozen in the mind of the bulk of the. Israeli public the media and the political system But reality in the meantime. changed radically Today s first grades are composed of 38 secular statist. about 15 national religious statist religious about a quarter of Arabs and. almost a quarter of Haredi Numbers and definitions are a dynamic matter iden. tities and birth rates do not freeze in time But one thing is clear the demo. graphic processes that are reshaping Israeli society have in fact created a new. Israeli order an order in which there are no longer a clear majority and clear. minorities An order in which Israeli society is composed of four sectors or. if we choose four central tribes essentially different from one another who. are progressing towards equal sizes In this order of things whether we like it. or not the structure of ownership of Israeli society and the state of Israel is. changing in front of our eyes, When I describe this breakdown I m always asked What about the division. between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Right and left New immigrants and veterans. Periphery and center Rich and poor Are these not fault lines which divide. Israeli society and are tearing us apart The answer is of course yes These fault. lines exist regrettably in each of the sectors and in all of them together and. they need to be addressed and treated But unlike these cleavages this division. into the four central tribes that make up Israeli society exposes its fundamental. structure a structure that we will never be able to obscure or erase a struc. ture that for many of us is perceived as a threat to the state of Israel s secular. liberal character on the one hand and to the Zionist enterprise on the other. 2 ISRAEL INSTITUTE MAGAZINE, the Future, I chose to quote from President Rivlin s note of them and draw the right lessons In mathematics and English not be taught in the.
speech at some length for two reasons unfor some cases the particular issues of certain Haredi school system These academic sub. tunately his analysis and warning are well tribes can be addressed and ameliorated jects are seen by them and by the rest of Israeli. warranted and his terminology the tribes Thus when it comes to the Arab minority society as the key to integrating the next gen. became an important term in the Israeli it is clear that there is a discrepancy between eration of Haredis into the larger community. public discourse a silent majority that accepts the state of and the labor force So far the political leader. As matters stand now the president s Israel and essentially wants a larger piece ship as represented in the coalition has been. warning seems to have gone unheeded The of the Israeli pie and a political and intel able to force Netanyahu to rescind the prog. tribes to use President Rivlin s language are lectual leadership that is much more radical ress that has been made in this domain under. also the bases of several Israeli political parties than its constituency But this silent major the previous government. Israeli Haredis vote for several Haredi parties ity requires attention and investment by the But beyond this particular treatment of. the Israeli Arab minority in the last election state This is not happening Netanyahu s gov the different tribes and their issues lies a larger. voted for the first time for a joint Arab list the ernment announced that 15 billion NIS were challenge Israel s political system needs to be. majority of the national religious sector that going to be invested in the Arab sector but reformed and structured as a pluralistic polit. used to vote in past years for a dovish moder implementation was entrusted to two hawk ical system By definition a pluralistic politi. ate National Religious Party NRP now votes ish ministers in his cabinet who so far have cal system is predicated on a recognition of the. for Naftali Bennet s Jewish Home also nick done precious little in this regard diversity of the society and while it seeks to. named the settlers party Many of the secular Likewise significant developments are minimize cleavages it allows different groups to. liberal Israelis tend to vote for center left par taking place inside the Haredi community be represented in politics and in power A brief. ties Yair Lapid s Yesh Atid the Zionist Camp Many are not willing to accept the poverty review of the international system will readily. and Meretz Predicated on this pattern and and the insularity imposed by their leader show the difference between countries that have. given the swing of many Israeli voters to the ship Some move out while others are incre managed over time to build an effective plural. right Netanyahu s Likud won the 2015 elec mentally modernizing certain aspects of life istic system such as Switzerland and those that. tions and seems to be destined to govern for within their communities Haredi women are have failed to do so like Belgium Israel s future. quite some time acquiring higher education joining the labor as President Rivlin rightly said depends on its. President Rivlin s speech and terminology market and even making movies But on the ability to come to grips with the challenge of its. are not the ultimate key for understanding the whole the leadership fights to preserve the diversity and to reform the political system so. current state of Israeli politics Absent from his status quo its core issue the insistence that as to turn it into a genuine pluralistic one. analysis is the governing issue of Israeli politics. namely the debate over the future of the West, Bank and Israel s relationship with the Pales Amb Itamar Rabinovich. tinians President Rivlin himself personifies a, curious duality When it comes to the future of F ounding President of the Israel Institute N on Resident Distinguished Senior Fellow. the West Bank he is a hawkish member of the Former Ambassador of Israel to the United at the Center for Middle East Policy at the. Likud But he is also a liberal democrat in the States and chief negotiator with Syria Brookings Institution. tradition of Jabotinsky and Begin who fights F ormer President of Tel Aviv University Recent books include Yitzhak Rabin. for the values of democracy and the rule of law P rofessor Emeritus of Middle Eastern Soldier Leader Statesman 2017 and The. trying to stem the tide of right wing populism History at Tel Aviv University Lingering Conflict Israel the Arabs and. that is sweeping the Israeli Right the Middle East 2011. D istinguished Global Professor at, But this does not take away from the New York University Ph D from the University of California. importance of Rivlin s analysis and warn Los Angeles. ing and Israel would be well advised to take, WWW ISRAELINSTITUTE ORG 3. SPOTLIGHT ACADEMIA, The Road to Understanding, Israel Institute Visiting Professor and former Ambassador to the Holy.
See Zion Evrony speaks about his diplomatic experiences the. relationship between Israel and the Vatican and his recent class on. Jewish Christian relations, EVRONY I would like to mention two of among other things a visit to three univer. IIM Among other diplomatic positions many important initiatives First as part of sities and meetings with university officials. throughout your career you served as the our efforts to educate Catholics about Juda and colleagues. Israeli Ambassador to Ireland 2006 10 ism and Israel and engage in interfaith dia However I must admit that the task I. and to the Holy See 2012 16 How did logue we organized visits for priests nuns was encouraged to achieve by many Israe. your understanding of the role of Ambas seminarians and other Catholic lay leaders lis finding the lost Temple Menorah I. sador evolve throughout these two posts to the Jewish Museum and the Great Syna have not fulfilled. gogue of Rome Close to a thousand Catho, EVRONY In every role throughout my lic leaders participated in these visits during. 43 year career in the Foreign Service espe my tenure We also organized a special visit IIM How did you balance the priorities. cially as Ambassador to Ireland I learned for the Diplomatic Corps and senior Vati of your diplomatic mission with the. something new and gained experience which can officials to these sites For most of them greater oft changing political climate. helped me do a better job representing Israel it was their first time visiting a synagogue. Ireland was my first Ambassadorship and I The second initiative was both academic EVRONY As an Ambassador represent. served there during challenging times I had to and cultural We organized three delega ing my country I always had to be mind. deal with a critical media anti Israel demon tions of Catholic university presidents and ful of whom and what I represent and the. strations hate mail and much misinforma provosts from around the world to visit well being of the state of Israel regardless. into the four central tribes that make up Israeli society exposes its fundamental structure a structure that we will never be able to obscure or erase a struc ture that for many of us is perceived as a threat to the state of Israel s secular liberal character on the one hand and to the Zionist enterprise on the other WWW ISRAELINSTITUTE ORG 3 I chose to quote from President Rivlin

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