Religious Freedom

Promoting Pluralism and Tolerance

NIF works to secure freedom of and from religion, as part of a vision of a pluralistic and multireligious Israel. We fight for religious tolerance, for gender equality, and against the ultra-Orthodox monopoly on Jewish public life.

An overwhelming percentage of Israelis support religious freedom and yet the issue remains one of the core obstacles to true equality for non-Orthodox citizens.

Specifically, our work focuses on broad coalitions of Israelis from all walks of life who work together to end the Orthodox monopoly on state religion, as well as focusing on strengthening moderate and women’s voices within the orthodox community.

Examples of recently-funded projects include the Israel Religious Action Center’s legal defense for LGBTQ couples and Mavoi Satum’s legal aid for secular and religious women undergoing divorce in religious courts.

Israel Hofsheet (Be Free Israel)

Center for Training and New Initiatives

Israel Hofsheet is the leading grassroots organization in Israel that works on issues of religious freedom, including freedom of marriage, segregation of women, and LGTBQ rights. Our 2022 project will train and mobilize members of the Israel Hofsheet community, municipal leaders, and aspiring parliamentary advisors, to be effective leaders on the issue of religious freedom.

New Israel Fund's Shatil

Women’s Exclusion Forum: Fighting Gender Segregation

Shatil is the operating arm of the New Israel Fund that strengthens the forces building a just, democratic and shared society in Israel. The Forum Against the Exclusion of Women is a coalition of 14 organizations from across the religious spectrum. Our 2022 project will expand the Forum’s educational work in schools.

What’s Happening at the Kotel?

What’s Happening at the Kotel?

Last week the Israeli government reneged on its pledge to implement an agreement to open a mixed-gender prayer space at the Western Wall. The agreement for a pluralist Kotel has a long history. After three years of negotiations, then Prime Minister Benjamin...

Fighting the Monopoly on Jewish Conversion

Fighting the Monopoly on Jewish Conversion

The NIF global community views the new Conversion Law promoted by Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs Matan Kahana as a very small step in the right direction, but recognizes that it leaves out many important elements, including the right of all citizens to a civil...

Combating the Erasure of Women by Religious Extremists

Combating the Erasure of Women by Religious Extremists

The Jerusalem District Court has ordered the Jerusalem Municipality to hire inspectors to handle widespread incidents of ultra-Orthodox Jews defacing billboards depicting images of women. Judge Shirley Renner also ordered the municipality to meet with the local police...

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