Israeli government committee backs ‘Tzohar rabbis bill’

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday decided to support legislation that would facilitate marriage among Jews who wish to avoid dealing with certain Orthodox rabbinical institutions, by allowing couples to register to marry in the rabbinical court of their choice.

The bill, sponsored by Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu ), would, in effect, enable Israelis who converted to Judaism in the army, or who prefer not to have dealings with the Chief Rabbinate, to use the services of Tzohar, an organization of modern Orthodox rabbis, instead of having to register with the local rabbinate. A similar bill, sponsored by Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi ), was also approved by the ministerial committee.

The so-called Tzohar bill was referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to support the initiative and to persuade Shas ministers to remove their objections.


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