Friday, January 08, 2016

Israeli Civil Court Orders Chief Rabbinate To Release List of Foreign Rabbis Whose Testimony It Will Accept

In Israel on Wednesday, Jerusalem district court Judge Nava Ben-Or ordered Israel's Chief Rabbinate to release its internal list of rabbis in other countries whose affidavits will be recognized for purposes of proving Jewish identity.  Residents who have moved to Israel from abroad can only have access to a Jewish marriage ceremony or Jewish burial in Israel if they are formally recognized as Jewish by the Rabbinate.  According to the Times of Israel:
In her decision, Judge Nava Ben-Or declared herself “shocked” by the apparent lack of transparency in this matter most central to everyday existence.
“This is a person’s life, we’re talking about very serious matters,” she said, describing a situation in which people wait indeterminately for the rabbinate to decide their fates, saying they hear nothing and are not being answered.
“It is a right to start a family,” Ben-Or said. “I am ashamed that in a functioning state this information cannot be provided. It is an unprecedented scandal. It is not Jewish, and inhumane.”