Israel Briefs: Four in 10 Israelis Say Non-Jews OK as Children’s Spouse and More

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Israeli President’s Wife Dies at 73

Nechama Rivlin, the wife of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, died June 4, a day before her 74th birthday, the Times of Israel reported.

A statement from the President’s Residence said Nechama Rivlin died at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. She was being treated after a relapse related to a March lung transplant. Before the transplant, she suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. The accumulation of scar tissue in her lungs made it difficult for her to breathe.

Nechama Rivlin worked for years at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and married Reuven Rivlin in 1971.

“When Nechama moved to the President’s Residence, she chose to focus on art, activities for children with special needs, the environment and nature, through compassion and love of people,” the President’s Residence said. “Nechama set up a community garden in the garden of the President’s Residence, where children from all over the country came to plant herbs and flowers on a regular basis.”

She was buried June 5 at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem.

52 Detained During Jerusalem Pride Parade

A man with a knife was arrested and 51 others were detained for questioning during the Jerusalem Pride Parade on June 6, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“While being searched, the undercover policemen found a knife that had been hidden in the suspect’s shoes,” the police said. “The suspect also refused to show his identity document when asked for it.”

Others were detained for trying to disrupt the march.

About 10,000 people attended the event — and 2,500 policemen, border police and undercover police were along the route.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said security had increased since a 2015 parade stabbing when Shira Banki, 16, was murdered by a haredi protester. Five other people were wounded.

About 300 people participated this year in counterprotests.

Groom breaking a glass at a Jewish wedding
Groom breaking a glass at a Jewish wedding (PavlovskiJenya / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Poll: Four in 10 Israelis Say Non-Jews OK as Spouse of Their Children

Nearly 40% of Israelis polled would accept a non-Jew as their child’s spouse — while more than half say conversion to Judaism in Israel should be a simpler process, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Israel Democracy Institute poll found that while 39% of Jewish Israelis would accept a non-Jewish spouse for their children, 54% said they think they would not (or are sure they would not) do likewise.

And while 52% said conversion should be more lenient, 35% said it should be stricter and 13% were uncertain. Among the ultra-Orthodox Israelis, 95% supported stricter conversion policies), as did 59% of religious Israelis.

Israel, Arab Nations Partner to Protect Red Sea Coral

Israel will partner with Red Sea countries in establishing a research center to study, monitor and protect coral reef ecosystems, The Jerusalem Post reported. Partners in The Red Sea Transnational Research Center in Bern, Switzerland, include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen and Djibouti.

Global climate change, pollution, overfishing and physical destruction are threats to coral reefs, which are home to millions of marine species. The Red Sea corals are in peril from fish-farming, agricultural runoff, industrial and urban waste discharge and future seawater desalination.

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