High Court:
Women may manage rabbinical courts

Ruling by High Court states women may be appointed director of rabbinical courts; 'Inconceivable proper representation not given.'

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Mordechai Sones,

Lady Justice
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The High Court justices ruled that a woman could be appointed head of the Rabbinical Courts.

Deputy Supreme Court President Elyakim Rubinstein wrote in the ruling that "at a time when women occupy a place of honor in a variety of public service positions, it is inconceivable that appropriate representation will not be given in the management of the rabbinical courts."

"This is an historic breakthrough in the field of religion and the state," said attorney Batya Kahana-Dror, director of the feminist advocate organization Mavoi Satum.

"I hope that this determination, beyond its practical implementation with regard to the appointment of a director-general of the rabbinical courts, will in the future become a guiding principle in all matters of religion in the State of Israel."

The Dean of the Sha'arei Ma'ada Ve'Mishpat Academic Center, Prof. Aviad Hacohen, welcomes the decision of the High Court of Justice, but councils calming the enthusiasm: "This is another important component that was laid for the purpose of building gender equality in the religious establishment system in Israel. This is all the more so when it comes to a managerial-administrative position, and not halakhic rulings.

"However, the real test will be in real life, and in this case I am afraid that the road to appointing a woman as director-general of the Rabbinical Courts is still long and difficult," added Hacohen.

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein
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