Netanyahu announces ‘roundtable dialogue’ between non-Orthodox and government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday night that “roundtable discussions” will be opened between the leadership of the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations in Israel and members of the government, in a forum that will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.

The move comes after a large swathe of Jewish organizations and leaders from the US fiercely criticized comments made by the Minister of Religious Services and Shas MK David Azoulai who said on Tuesday during an interview with Army Radio that he could not refer to Reform Jews as Jews.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Friday, Sharansky said that it has for a long time been difficult for Israeli governments to engage in dialogue with the non-orthodox movements because of the lack of an appropriate framework and that the new forum was designed to address this shortcoming.


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