Rabbinate provides address for couples whose Judaism is contested
Marriage registrars appointed to tackle problems faced by couples whose Judaism is under question. Itim: State trying to evade finding appropriate solution to problem
Ari Galahar • Ynet
The Council of the Chief Rabbinate ruled on Monday that the two chief rabbis will appoint marriage registrars to address the issues confronting couples who encounter problems registering their marriages with the typically more stringent municipal rabbis who may have brought the couple's Judaism under question.
The newly appointed marriage registrars will be directly responsible to Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and will tackle problems faced by couples whose Judaism is being doubted, and thus are having difficulties registering their marriage.
The Itim Jewish Life Information Center, which petitioned the High Court over municipal rabbis' refusal to register marriages on claims that one of the partners was not properly converted to Judaism, reported to the Council of the Chief Rabbinate, "Any solution that does not recognize the full rights of every convert to live 100% as a Jew is not acceptable to us."
"Rabbi Amar understands that problem and identifies with it, but does not want to embroil himself with the haredim," said Itim Founder and Director Shaul Parver [sic – should be, Rabbi Shaul Farber]. "We went to the High Court only after huge efforts were made to find a quiet solution. Unfortunately, the State is trying to evade finding an appropriate solution to the problem."
In November 2009, Maxim and Elena Serdyukov went to the marriage registrar's office in Ashkelon after Elena completed her conversion process via the IDF. The local rabbi refused to open a marriage file for them. Ultimately, with Itim's help, the couple managed to get married under a different local rabbinate even though they are both residents of Ashkelon.
In light of increasing cases such as this one, Itim decided to file a petition in the High Court in April. Similar cases have continued to pile up since the High Court petition.