Rabbinate and State

For those of us who live in the U.S. and who, at least in this country, are committed to the ideal of separation of church and state- it is odd to see our own religion so deeply intertwined in the workings of a Democratic Jewish state. In her first documentary, Amy Beth Oppenheimer explores the role of the Rabbinate in Israeli life, mostly in terms of what it means for marriage. Her Film, Faces of Israel raises provocotive questions- What is the role of the Rabbinate? Who should be included in it? What are the alternatives to it? Should Israel allow Same-sex or secular Civil Unions?  Her presentation, in the form of a series of interviews, is surprisingly evenhanded, and broad in scope. She allows her subjects, who range from rabbinic leaders to average Israeli citizens, to speak for themselves.  That even-handedness is the strength of this movie, and I hope it will inspire viewers to hear the many disparate voices in this conversation.

Faces of Israel opens Tues. March 24th at the Riverdale Y and will be followed by a panel discussion.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.facesthemovie.com, or at the door.

One Response to “Rabbinate and State”

  1. Looking forward to hearing a review of the film in a future jewschool post and hoping the film will be screened here in Israel soon.

    Joel Katz
    Religion and State in Israel


    Joel Katz · March 24th, 2009 at 12:21 am

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik