Religious education in Israel

Asher Maoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The interrelation between state and religion in Israel does not easily lend itself to traditional classification.1 Israel is not a religious state yet it is certainly not secular. There is no separation between religion and state. The state supports the various religions; central parts of individual and public life-such as marriage and divorce-are governed by religious law and religious institutions; religious institutions are officially recognized by the state and carry out state functions; they are budgeted by the state; the state moreover intervenes in the establishment and composition of these institutions. The extent of state intervention varies. It is more extensive with the Jewish, Muslim, and Druze communities, while Christian communities, save for the Greek Orthodox community, are largely autonomous. This set-up has its historical roots dating back to the Ottoman Empire. It should be emphasized, however, that, although Israel was established as a Jewish state, there is no state religion in Israel. Moreover, the jurisdiction of Sharia (Muslim) religious courts is substantially wider than that of Rabbinical (Jewish) courts. The same goes for Muslim religious law.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781136256424
ISBN (Print)9780415536301
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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