Women gain roles in selecting religious leadership

Ministerial Committee for Legislation passes bills cementing female input on identity of chief rabbis, religious judges

Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved two bills that would guarantee spots for women on the committees that choose chief rabbis and rabbinical court judges.

MKs Shuli Moalem (Jewish Home) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) put forth a bill that would ensure that three of the current 10 spots on the committee that appoints rabbinical court judges would be set aside for women.

The proposal also adds an 11th spot on the appointment committee — for a rabbinical advocate (a woman trained and certified to represent women in rabbinical courts).

The committee also approved a bill by MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) that would change the makeup of the body tasked with choosing Israel’s two chief rabbis.

If passed by the Knesset, 20% of the selection committee for the chief rabbis will be made up of women.

The vote was nearly unanimous, with one abstention from MK Uri Ariel (Jewish Home).

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