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Government Services

Problem

Israeli government ministries, agencies, and authorities that regulate and administer matters of Jewish life often lack transparency and accountability. The Chief Rabbinate and its State rabbinical courts, the Religious Services Ministry, local religious councils, and other government bodies often leave the public frustrated by bureaucracy and alienated from Jewish life. In some cases, their practices do not adhere to democratic principles of fairness and equality under the law.

ITIM Achievements

  • Initiated Knesset oversight of State rabbinical court proceedings
  • Improved the preparation and distribution of State rabbinical court transcripts
  • Won a Supreme Court case that required members of the committee that elects the Chief Rabbinate Council–its decision-making arm–to be elected, not appointed
  • Represented plaintiffs in cases in which State rabbinical courts failed to share expert opinions upon which their rulings were based

Current Activities

The ITIM Public Policy and Legal Centers are working to require all members of local religious councils (which oversee kosher certification, mikveh operations, and other religious services) to be elected (currently, 57% of them are appointed), and to better reflect their constituencies in terms of level of religious observance and gender. We also continue to work to increase transparency and accountability withing the State rabbinical court system.

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Help ITIM provide critical services and shape the future of Jewish life