MK Elazar Stern
MK Elazar Stern Photo: Miriam Alster, Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation decided Sunday to reject a bill by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) to increase the number of women participating in the body that selects the chief rabbis of Israel.

According to the rejected law, the electoral body would expand its members from 150 to 200, with 25% of them intended to be women.

MK Stern aggressively criticized Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who heads the ministerial committee, arguing that it violates women systematically: "Last time, the Jewish Home delegation played the role of haredi government and brought forth chief rabbis who urge women not to serve in the IDF and who built courts that abuse women.”

"This time Ayelet Shaked is the Minister of Justice of the State of Israel and it seems that her position was only for paying the haredim the fee they want,” said Stern.

Stern added that religious Zionism cannot tolerate discrimination against women, saying, "What have we asked for? 25% of women to be in the group that chooses the rabbis who ultimately affect the lives of women especially in Israel. I expected Minister Shaked would not play a hand in this ongoing discrimination and certainly not in a systematic way."

"She did not even try to challenge the law. What would she say to so many religious women who voted for her to represent them?” said Stern.

"The Jewish Home has neglected its role in maintaining the Jewish character of the State of Israel and led to decisions that alienate women and people from wanting anything to do with Judaism in Israel. It is sad because she (Shaked) was supposed to represent the secular side of the Jewish home, but proved instead to be a disappointment."

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