Friday, July 20, 2018

Israel's First Enforcement of Law Barring Jewish Weddings Outside Official Rabbinate

Haaretz reports that for the first time Israeli police have attempted to enforce a 2013 law that prohibits rabbis from performing Jewish weddings other than through the official Rabbinate.  Offenses carry a sentence of up to 6 months for conducting the ceremony and up to two years in prison for failing to register it.  Israeli police on Thursday booked Rabbi Dov Haiyun of Moriah Congregation in Haifa who was ordained by the Conservative movement, on charges of conducting a marriage ceremony of a person who is not eligible to be married under Jewish law. The complaint against him was filed by the Haifa Rabbinical Court.

UPDATE: Times of Israel (July 22) reports that the attorney general’s office, responding to widespread criticism of the detention, has now instructed police to cancel the summons against Rabbi Haiyun.