Mediating Conflicts between Religion and State: Israeli Perspectives

Dr. Shai Stern, Summer 2018

The course deals with main conflicts in the Israeli society, concerning relations between religion, state, and the public sphere. Four subjects were chosen, a subject per day of the course, in which divergent ways of conflict resolutions can be demonstrated. While examining case studies dealing with Tensions between Jewish communities, spatial disputes, medical bioethics and opening businesses during Shabbath (Saturday) and holidays, we will address court rulings, covenants, multi-vocal legislations, committees, deletions, regional divisions, compromises, innovative suggestions and mediation attempts.

General Reading

1. Izhak Englard, "Law and Religion in Israel" 35 The American Journal of Comparative Law

 (1987), pp. 185-208

2. Gavison-Medan Covenant

3. Cohen, Asher and Bernard Susser, "From Accommodation to Decision: Transformations in Israel's Religio-Political Life", Journal of Church and State. Autumn 1996, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 817-839

Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992)

Ruth Gavison, "The Role of Courts in Rifted Democracies" 33 Isr.L.Rev (1999) 216



1st Day: Tensions between Jewish communities: Religious and Cultural disputes

AAA 5875/10 The Conservative Movement v. Beer Sheva Religious Council

Report of the Neeman Committee on Conversion Proposals


4128/00 CEO of Prime Minister Office v. Anat Hofman (women of the wall)



2nd Day: spatial disputes: religion, ethnicity and the state 


H.C. 6698/95, Aadel Ka'adan v. Israel Lands Administration, 54(1) P.D. 258


Proposal of Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People



Burial of a Non-Jewish Spouse and Children:,%202010.pdf


3rd Day: Medical Ethics

CA 506/88 Yael Shefer (a minor) by her mother and natural guardian, Talila Shefer v. State of Israel

The Dying Patient Act, 2005

Avraham Steinberg and Charles L. Sprung, "The Dying Patient Act, 2005: An Israeli Innovative Legisltion" 9 IMAJ ( July 2007) 550-552

Dana Doron et al, "Israeli Dying Patient Act Physician Knowledge and Attitudes" 37 American Journal of Clinical Oncology (2014)

Carmel Shalev, "End-of –Life Care in Israel – The Dying Patient Act" 42 Isr.L.Rev. 279

Avraham Steinberg, " Defining Death in Jewish Law"

Cerebro-Respiratory Death Act (2008)



4th Day: Shabbath in the Public Sphear

Shimon Shetreet, Walter Homolka Jewish and Israeli Law - An Introduction (2017), 318-321  **

Constitution by Consensus  - The Shabbath (and Jewish Holidays) Bill

HCJ 5016/96 Horev v. Minister of Transportation

AAA 2469/12 Bremer v. Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality


Article about the latest ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court about Tel Aviv’s groceries stores: