Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Israeli Government To Begin Paying Salaries of Non-Orthodox Rabbis

In Israel, the Attorney General's office announced yesterday in an historic move that the government will begin to pay the salaries of some non-Orthodox rabbis, as it now does for Orthodox rabbis. Jerusalem Post reports the move comes in response to a recommendation earlier this month from the country's High Court of Justice. Regional Councils will now be able to pay Masorti and Reform rabbis for any communities who request them. Wages equal to that paid to Orthodox rabbis will be funneled through the Ministry of Sport and Culture, instead of through the Ministry of Religious Services that funds Orthodox rabbis. However, according to Haaretz, the arrangement applies only to regional councils and farming communities, and does not extend to large cities. Also "rabbis of non-Orthodox communities" will not have authority over issues of Jewish law.