The Israel Religious Action Center and the development of pluralism in Israel.
thesisposted on 01.03.2017 by Feldheim, Miriam
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
This thesis discusses the promotion of pluralism by the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) as an alternative to the hegemony of the Orthodox establishment in Israel. The main argument is that IRAC has achieved modest success in separating the civil institutions of government from religious institutions. Alternative frameworks have been established for the recognition of non-Orthodox conversion in Israel and funding for non-Orthodox congregations for rabbinic salaries and other purposes. The success was facilitated by the development of networks with other organisations sharing similar goals based on liberal democratic values. A second factor facilitating the transition towards pluralism was changes in the social and political environment conducive to the advancement of policies pursued by IRAC. In establishing models for the delivery of religious services outside the institution of the Chief Rabbinate, IRAC has established systems which may be emulated by moderate and alternative streams of Judaism.