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2,000 Participate in Bnei Israel Demonstration in Jerusalem

August 7, 1964
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Some 2,000 persons took part in a demonstration held yesterday in front of the Chief Rabbinate headquarters at Heichal Shlomo by members of the Bnei Israel community, which originated in India and has since emigrated to Israel, in protest against the Chief Rabbinate’s directives with regard to marriage procedures. The marchers carried slogans demanding the abolition of the directives which they consider discriminatory against Indian-born Jews.

Earlier this week, the members of the group rejected a proposal for a settlement of the issue made by President Zalman Shazar at a meeting attended by the President and Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim which declared that the Bnei Israel were “Jews in every sense” and that the Chief Rabbinate’s directors apply to immigrants from every distant land.

The demonstrators dispersed and a small group returned to continue their two-week sit-in strike in front of the building. The Herut, Liberal, Mapam and Communist parties, meanwhile, are planning a joint petition to reconvene the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, from summer recess to deal with the issue.

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