Rabbinate threatens strike if pressured to coach ladies in rabbinic legal guidelines

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel on Tuesday threatened to strike whether it is pressured to supply coaching to ladies who want to research the legal guidelines required to turn into an Orthodox rabbi, even when the ladies don’t insist on receiving rabbinic ordination.

In an announcement, the rabbinate stated that it might cease administering all exams to ordain state-authorized rabbis.


The risk got here after final week Lawyer Common Avichai Mandelblit informed the Excessive Court docket of Israel that the state would arrange a parallel observe enabling ladies to be examined on the identical materials as males who take rabbinate exams to be licensed as rabbis.

Mandelblit was responding to a petition by group of ladies represented by ITIM — the Jewish Life Advocacy Heart, Bar-Ilan College’s Rackman Heart for the Development of the Stats of Girls, and Kolech, an Orthodox feminist group. The petition sought to allow the ladies to take the rabbinic ordination exams — not for the aim of being licensed as rabbis however moderately for the standing and advantages that passing the exams can carry.


Passing the exams, that are taken by 1000’s of males through the strategy of rabbinical ordination and are in some professions thought-about equal to a tutorial diploma, might allow the ladies to extend their pay in sure positions or apply for civil service positions that will in any other case not be obtainable to them.

The petitioners, Sarah Segal Katz, Rachel Keren and Deborah Evron, argued that they have been being discriminated in opposition to as a result of the rabbinate solely permits males to take the exams for rabbinic qualification.

In his response, Mandelblit wrote that there are “authorized difficulties” within the present state of affairs underneath which solely males can take the exams. He stated there have been ongoing negotiations to ascertain a parallel observe for girls to be examined, administered both by the Training Ministry or the Larger Training Ministry.


The Chief Rabbinate responded by saying it’s “not an institute for larger schooling and its position is to certify rabbis.”

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has instructed rabbinate officers to totally oppose coaching ladies, the assertion stated.

“The Jewish legislation and custom that the rabbinate is entrusted to take care of doesn’t permit for the coaching of ladies within the rabbinate,” it stated.


So long as there’s a authorized order requiring the Rabbinate to coach ladies, it can cut off to all certification of rabbis, “pending a legislative modification to settle the matter,” the rabbinate stated.

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