Israel to sponsor non-Orthodox rabbis for first time (REUTERS) Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jon Hemming JERSALEM, ISRAEL 05/29/12 4:42pm EDT)
Reuters News Service
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(Reuters) - Israel will pay the salaries of non-Orthodox rabbis for
the first time, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday, a move hailed
by reformed Jews as "historic", but one that keeps the Orthodox in
control of much of the country´s religious services.
In 2005, a number of liberal Jewish groups petitioned the Supreme
Court to receive state funding for municipal posts held by non-
Though most Israeli Jews are secular, a strictly-Orthodox rabbinic
court is the country´s authority in nearly all Jewish religious
ceremonies, like weddings and conversions, and until now only those
rabbis were paid by the state in such posts.
The government, in its response to the court, said that while it will
sponsor the new posts out of respect to those non-Orthodox rabbis,
the decision will "have no influence on judgment in religious
Though it will only affect a limited number of posts, the Movement
for Reform and Progressive Judaism on its website called the move
a "historic achievement".
"It´s a first, but significant, step in making all forms of Judaism
in Israel equal," said the movement´s director Rabbi Gilad Kariv. (©
Thomson Reuters 2012. 05/29/12)
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