Israeli groups win grants to encourage marriage outside Chief Rabbinate


(JTA) — A consortium of Jewish federations has awarded grants to three Israel-based groups to encourage Israelis to consider alternatives to marrying through the Chief Rabbinate

The Israel Religious Expression Platform, or iRep, funded by the federations as well as private foundations, aims to strengthen Israeli civil society and encourage respect for diverse Jewish expressions in Israel.

Participating federations are Ann Arbor, Boston, Cincinnati, Greensboro, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

The grant recipients announced Thursday are Od Yishama, a collaborative venture of The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism; the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel; Israel Hofsheet; Hiddush, an advocacy and public educational organization that works to strengthen Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a religious-Zionist organization.

“These grants will allow us to continue working together as we seek greater pluralism and true freedom of choice of marriage in Israel,” the groups said in a joint statement thanking iRep.

Civil and non-Orthodox Jewish weddings performed in Israel are not legally recognized.

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