Despite a new ministerial directive presented to the Knesset on Wednesday instructing burial societies and municipal rabbis that they may not prevent women from giving eulogies at funerals, concerns remain that the directive will not be enforced.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, as well as religious rights groups, expressed disappointment that the renewal of a burial society’s license, which oversees Jewish funeral ceremonies, is not conditional on compliance with the ministry’s guidelines.
The new directive from the Religious Services Ministry, presented at a hearing of the Interministerial Working Group for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, states explicitly that burial societies must allow women to give eulogies. This instruction is in accordance with a ruling by Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger that there is no “clear source to forbid women from giving eulogies.”
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