Scandal in Haifa rabbinate, officials suspended

Investigation reveals Haifa rabbinate officials denied marriage licenses to couples, claiming they were non-Jews.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Two officials at the Haifa religious council have been suspended following revelations of misconduct.

It has been alleged that the two officials systematically denied marriage registration requests from couples who had signed up through the Tzohar rabbinical organization.

According to an investigation conducted by Channel 2, more than 100 couples from the Haifa area who registered through Tzohar found their applications denied.

In response to queries regarding the reason for the denial, applicants were told either that they were already registered in marriages to other people, that they were illegitimate, or that they were not Jewish.

These false claims were issued as part of what appears to be a concerted effort by the two officials to deny legitimacy to Tzohar, and to harm any couples associated with the group.

Tzohar is an independent organization, led by national religious rabbis, which seeks to reform the Israeli rabbinate and ease marriage registrations and the process of converting to Judaism. While Tzohar is not a part of the Israeli rabbinate, it has signed agreements with the Chief Rabbinate in the past allowing it to conduct marriage registrations.

The organization has faced sharp criticism from some in the haredi sector, who see the group as a threat to the religious status quo.