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.

Standing up for Pride

Standing up for Pride

The pride parade in the Negev town of Mitzpe Ramon went ahead in June as planned after Israel Police withdrew its decision to reroute the event to the city’s outskirts. Israel Police backed down on its instruction to reroute the parade following a petition to the...

Combatting the Exclusion of Women in Public

Combatting the Exclusion of Women in Public

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court has ordered Israel Railways and Danel, the company that provides guards for trains, to pay Israeli citizen Maya Melitz NIS 16,000 ($4,600) as compensation for being forced to move to another car because she is a woman. Melitz was...

Combatting Erasure of Women From Public Spaces

Combatting Erasure of Women From Public Spaces

Israel’s Dan Bus Company has withdrawn its requirement that drivers check the ‘modesty’ of ads on their buses before driving through the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak. The change came after the policy was exposed by the Israeli newspaper, Globes. The bus company...

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