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Michele Chabin

Michele Chabin is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Michele Chabin

Critics say Israeli judicial reform would end checks on Orthodox Jewish establishment

By Michele Chabin — February 16, 2023
(RNS) — Critics of proposed judicial reform fear that it would allow the so-called religious parties that make up a crucial swing vote in Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, to impose fervently religious norms on the country’s non-Orthodox majority. 

Birthright Israel brings Jews in recovery to Israel

By Michele Chabin — August 8, 2022
JERUSALEM (RNS) — 'Recovery is all about change and healing,' said one person in recovery who took a tour of Israel that allows Jews in recovery to explore their Jewish heritage and faith. 'I feel like a changed man because of this trip.'

Israel seen as a ‘safe haven’ for abusers like Baruch Lanner

By Michele Chabin — July 27, 2022
(RNS) — Opposition from activists and the general public led the Israeli government to deny citizenship to an abusive rabbi. But Israel remains vulnerable to abusers who want to move there, say activists.

Reacting to Dobbs, Israel makes abortion more accessible

By Michele Chabin — June 30, 2022
(RNS) — Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz explicitly linked the committee’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which will make it possible for several states to ban most abortions.   

An American rabbi went to help Ukrainian refugees. But he hoped to find his cousins.

By Michele Chabin — April 12, 2022
(RNS) — ‘I knew that finding them would be like finding a needle in a haystack,’ said Rabbi David Wilfond.

Jews say making daylight saving time permanent threatens morning prayer

By Michele Chabin — March 24, 2022
(RNS) — American Jewish groups say they were blindsided by the lightning-fast passage of a Senate bill.

Exceptions for ‘Jewish tourism’ rankle US Christians blocked from Israel at Christmas

By Yonat Shimron and Michele Chabin — December 21, 2021
(RNS) — Birthright Israel delegations and similar Jewish travel programs were exempted from a travel ban that has canceled Christian trips to Israel at Christmas.

In time for Hanukkah, archaeologists reveal battle-scarred stronghold against Maccabees

By Michele Chabin — November 24, 2021
(RNS) — ‘The stories of the Maccabees are coming to life before our eyes,’ said one member of the group that excavated the site.

Israeli police protect women’s prayer group from ultra-Orthodox protesters

By Michele Chabin — November 5, 2021
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Until now, Israeli security forces have done the bare minimum to enforce crowd control during the controversial prayer group’s once-a-month services in the women’s section of the Western Wall.

Ben & Jerry’s threatened ban in West Bank creates ripples beyond ice cream stores

By Michele Chabin — July 20, 2021
(RNS) — The company’s announcement that it would not renew its licensee in the occupied territories has brought accusations of antisemitism.

Will Naftali Bennett’s diverse coalition lead Israel to recognize Jewish diversity?

By Michele Chabin — June 16, 2021
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Many Israelis and Diaspora Jews are hoping the new government will unlock the decades-long monopoly that strictly Orthodox Jews have had on everything from marriage to public transportation.

Violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque leads to rocket fire, air strikes between Hamas and Israel

By Michele Chabin — May 10, 2021
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Reports of 20 dead in Gaza, hundreds injured as skirmishes over Jewish-Arab land claims threaten to ignite regional violence in the Middle East.

Stampede in Israel claims dozens of lives, injures hundreds of Jewish pilgrims

By Michele Chabin — April 30, 2021
JERUSALEM (RNS) — The tragedy occurred at Mount Meron, where more than 100,000 Orthodox men, women and children gathered to celebrate Lag b’Omer, a holiday that recalls the end of an ancient plague.

‘Beautiful’ Ramadan returns for Israeli Muslims as restrictions lift

By Michele Chabin — April 28, 2021
(RNS) — Last year, Israel was under a strict lockdown to thwart the spread of COVID-19. Worshippers were forbidden to pray at mosques, synagogues and churches, even during Ramadan, Passover and Easter.

Israel’s high court broadens acceptance of non-Orthodox Jews, setting up political battle

By Michele Chabin — March 2, 2021
(RNS) — The US Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly said in a statement that the ruling 'was a very long time coming. Not swift justice, but sweet and righteous just the same.'
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