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Michele Chabin

JERUSALEM (RNS) A huge sycamore tree that some believe was climbed by Zacchaeus the tax collector to get a better view of Jesus is the centerpiece of a new tourism campaign by the Palestinian government. The tree is located in Jericho, the first city conquered by Joshua when the Israelites crossed into Canaan. The city, […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Ultra-Orthodox leaders on Tuesday (Sept. 28) removed barriers separating men and women from a Jerusalem street after Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the tall screens were illegal. Representatives of the Eda Haredit, an ultra-Orthodox organization that enforces modesty, erected the barriers in the religious neighborhood of Meah Sha’arim at the start […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Israeli government’s decision to end daylight saving time more than a month early in order to ease the upcoming Yom Kippur fast has set off an angry debate on religion-state issues. Changing back to standard time on the Sunday before Yom Kippur has been enshrined in Israeli law for several years, but […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Jewish authorities at the Western Wall hope to replace the existing opaque partition that separates the men’s and women’s prayer areas with one that will enable female worshippers to see into the men’s section but not vice-versa. The move follows years of complaints by female worshippers who have been unable to see into […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) More than 100 modern-Orthodox rabbis, educators and mental-health professionals in Israel and the U.S. have signed a document that urges respect for homosexuals but stops short of condoning same-sex relationships. The Statement of Principles, released on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting at a gay club in Tel Aviv […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride march on Thursday (July 29) through the streets of Jerusalem. In a statement issued Friday following the city’s 8th Annual Gay Pride Parade, which attracted 3,000 marchers, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said the event seeks […] Read More