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Old 08-11-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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What can you tell me about the culture in Israel, especially concerning women? I just heard a story about some sort of segregated bus scheme and it made me wonder: Is the status of women diminishing (I can't in good conscience simply blame religious differences)? I would like to visit one day, and maybe go to school there, but I fear that I will be looked down on for trying to go to a university? What about a seminary—or even a co-ed seminary? Will I have to stick with secular institutions the entire time? I have a suspicion that Israel's government has made social policies a lot stricter than Jewish law necessitates.

And it also seems that, while the religious culture is becoming stricter, secular culture is very informal. I feel like everyone drinks and parties (although I get all my information from the Birthright website). Is there a really such a contrary dichotomy?

Sorry if this post sounds naive; I admit that I really know absolutely nothing about Israel or the Middle East and I would like to know more.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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The segregated bus scheme that you heard about is limited only to a few bus routes going through a few Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
Women in Israel are relatively liberated. Remember Israeli women are drafted into the Israeli army at age 18 just like men (although they do 2 years service rather than the 3 years that men do).
Secular Israelis are informal but not everyone drinks and parties all the time.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Remember Israeli women are drafted into the Israeli army at age 18 just like men

Ah! I worry about this. I would fail in the army.

And about the bus scheme...I figured there were details I hadn't heard about...thanks.

And I wonder how women fare in the religious as opposed to the secular world there. I know that the denominations equivalent to the US's Conservative and Reform branches aren't totally accepted, but do those who aren't Orthodox experience harassment? Is Orthodox in Israel comparable to "very" Orthodox in the US?
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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If you are going to Israel on a student visa, then the military is not an issue for you. Most of Israel is secular. That being said most of the country is like living in NYC.

There are a few spots that are Ultra-Orthodox. Research Haredi or Frum. But you would have to go out of your way to enter these areas. But if you must, dress modestly out of respect for their culture. If you want to research the American version research the following cities in NY: Williamburg, Monsey.

Here's a news link: Breaking News | Latest News | Current News | Happening now | Orthodox Jewish News at VosIzNeias.com

To understand an Israeli is to live life as if it were your last day. Israelis enjoy going out, enjoy partying, enjoy travelling, enjoy life. But also Israelis are extremely family oriented.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
If you are going to Israel on a student visa, then the military is not an issue for you. Most of Israel is secular. That being said most of the country is like living in NYC.

There are a few spots that are Ultra-Orthodox. Research Haredi or Frum. But you would have to go out of your way to enter these areas. But if you must, dress modestly out of respect for their culture. If you want to research the American version research the following cities in NY: Williamburg, Monsey.

Here's a news link: Breaking News | Latest News | Current News | Happening now | Orthodox Jewish News at VosIzNeias.com

To understand an Israeli is to live life as if it were your last day. Israelis enjoy going out, enjoy partying, enjoy travelling, enjoy life. But also Israelis are extremely family oriented.
I agree with the above.
I want to add that if you are going to Israel on an immigrant visa you only have to worry about the army if you are under the age of 20 and single without children.
There is not much socializing between the religious & secular Jewish Israelis in Israel.
Living in Israel is similar to living in a large American cosmopolitan city such as NYC or L.A.
So there is really no need to worry about harassment as a non-religious woman in Israel unless you go into a Hassidic/Ultra Orthodox neighborhood dressed immodestly. Usually these neighborhoods have big signs in English & Hebrew that women should dress modestly with long sleeves and their legs covered when entering.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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YouTube - Israel love you more, why?
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,593 posts, read 17,858,526 times
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I will concur with the above respondents.

Though I have never been to Israel, my experience in NYC and Rockland County, New York has shown that Jews run the gamut from ultra-secular (eating bacon cheeseburgers, experimenting with drugs, free love) to ultra-conservative (Men refusing to shake hands with non-Jewish women, women who must wear headscarves and ankle/wrist length clothing, sex segregation).

Note the latter would deny that the former are even true Jews despite their lineage and self-identity.

Judaism is not a mono-culture.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Fondren SW Yo
2,783 posts, read 6,014,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
I will concur with the above respondents.

Though I have never been to Israel, my experience in NYC and Rockland County, New York has shown that Jews run the gamut from ultra-secular (eating bacon cheeseburgers, experimenting with drugs, free love) to ultra-conservative (Men refusing to shake hands with non-Jewish women, women who must wear headscarves and ankle/wrist length clothing, sex segregation).

Note the latter would deny that the former are even true Jews despite their lineage and self-identity.

Judaism is not a mono-culture.
Not true. While some Orthodox Jews may negatively judge non-observant Jews for their behavior, the issue of matrilineal descent is one of Jewish law and not of opinion.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rb4browns View Post
Not true. While some Orthodox Jews may negatively judge non-observant Jews for their behavior, the issue of matrilineal descent is one of Jewish law and not of opinion.
Only if a Jew formally converts to another religion are they considered non-Jewish.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:51 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,593 posts, read 17,858,526 times
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You are both right. It was my mistake in how I wrote it. I should not have said that they would be regarded as non-Jews but rather something like 'fallen' Jews.

I have seen Orthodox Jews handing out tracts to people whom they assumed to be reform or secular Jews to encourage them to join Orthodox congregations thus, presumably, redeeming them.

This would not be extended to gentiles.
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