Reform event at the Western Wall
Reform event at the Western WallY.R

During Sunday morning’s government discussions regarding the state budget — which must pass within the next few weeks, if the government is to survive — the question of funding for Reform and Conservative groups was raised and apparently settled, Behadrey Haredim reports.

When the current government was formed this past summer, among the new ministerial departments created was one named “Hayahadut Hamit-hadeshet” (which loosely translates as “up-to-date Judaism), within the framework of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, and this new department is now being used to funnel a massive budget of no less than NIS 40 million to Reform and Conservative groups, to fund their various projects.

The exact purpose of this funding was not made clear, although from past experience it is reasonable to suppose that it will be used to finance activities such as the monthly provocations held at the Western Wall by the few dozen “Women of the Wall” activists, now boosted in number and prestige by MK Gilad Kariv, the first-ever Reform minister to serve in the Knesset.

This budget allocation is the first time that Reform groups have been officially financed by an Israeli government, and, according to the Liba Center, represents a new level of attack against traditional Judaism. The Liba Center, an organization whose aim is to preserve authentic Judaism in the public sphere, has been waging a battle against encroachments made by Reform groups, by way of submitting petitions to the Attorney-General and now also via the formation of a political front in the Knesset.

Responding to Sunday’s news, MK Meir Porush (UTJ) told Behadrey Haredim, “The current government is continuing to destroy everything holy, supporting Reform organizations that promote a spiritual Holocaust among the Jewish People — causing untold numbers of Jews to disappear via assimilation or intermarriage.”