Women to get more say in appointing religious judges
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Women to get more say in appointing religious judges

Knesset passes law that will reserve four out of 11 slots on selection committee for females

MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid (center) with Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni (right) at a Committee for the Status of Women meeting in the Knesset. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid (center) with Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni (right) at a Committee for the Status of Women meeting in the Knesset. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Women will in the future enjoy greater representation on the Selection Committee for Rabbinical Judges, which appoints religious judges for Jewish communities throughout Israel, according to a law passed by the Knesset on Tuesday.

The law, sponsored by MKs Shuli Moalem (Jewish Home) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), stipulates that four spots on the committee be assigned to women. Three of those are to be representatives from the government, the Knesset and the Israeli Bar Association, which each send two representatives to the selection committee, and the fourth is to be a female expert on religious law appointed by the justice minister.

The law also raises the number of selection committee members from 10 to 11, with the remaining four members to be appointed by the Chief Rabbinate.

However, the current selection committee, which has no female representation, will not be affected by the new law, which will only come into effect during the next selection cycle.

The bill passed after a contentious debate that lasted into the wee hours, and was strongly opposed by the ultra-Orthodox parties. 

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