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Validity of Marriages by Reform Rabbis Becomes Issue in England

January 25, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sol Teff, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was authorized by the Board’s executive committee today to “engage in appropriate consultations” with various religious, Jewish bodies in Britain that have disagreed about the religious validity of certain marriages.

The London Beth Din, the Manchester Beth Din and several individual Orthodox rabbis have ruled that Reform and Liberal marriages were invalid from the point of Halacha (Jewish law). Today, Mr. Teff had asked the Board’s executive committee to consider the implications of the public controversy in the Jewish community “concerning the validity of certain marriages.” The executive committee agreed that the Board, as the representative body of all Jews in this country, holding different religious views, was not a suitable forum for the discussion of religious issues.

However, said Mr. Teff after the meeting, “the Board is very seriously concerned about pronouncements and incidents that may adversely affect the cohesion and unity of the community.” The executive committee, he continued, agreed “that I, as president of the Board, make certain approaches and engage in appropriate consultations with a view to the maintenance of harmony in the community, which must be the Board’s main concern.”

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