Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Israel's Chief Rabbinate Charges Wedding Ad By Masorti Movement Is Fraudulent

In Israel, an attorney for the Chief Rabbinate has written the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) complaining about a radio ad it is broadcasting on behalf of the Masorti Movement. Yesterday's YNet News reported on the ad which encourages couples to consider marrying in a wedding ceremony performed by a Conservative rabbi instead of in an Orthodox ceremony performed by the Chief Rabbinate. The Rabbinate's chief attorney, Shimon Ullman, told IBA that the ad is fraudulent and deceitful because it does not inform listeners that Conservative weddings performed in Israel are not recognized by governmental authorities in the country. Ullman's letter called the Masorti Movement "an organization that undermines official state institutions." A spokesman for the Masorti Movement says that it advises all marriage applicants that its ceremonies are not recognized by the state, and it recommends that couples also hold a civil ceremony outside the country so that their marriage can be registered with the Interior Ministry.