Knesset Legal Advisor Attorney Eyal Yinon halted a tender to locate a new rabbi for the Knesset building to publish a new tender allowing women to run for the job.
Yediot Ahronot reported that in a few months the current Knesset Rabbi Alexander Hochman would retire. Months ago the Knesset published a tender to find a replacement.
Preliminary conditions of the originally published tender included a demand from candidates to present Yoreh Yoreh certification - that is, the certificate of a rabbi ordained by the Chief Rabbinate. This is a requirement that only men can meet, since the Chief Rabbinate does not offer the exam to women.
This criterion irritated Reform Center for Religious Affairs operatives, who claimed the tender discriminated against women and was held in violation of the Equal Employment Opportunities Law.
The reformists turned to Knesset Legal Advisor Attorney Eyal Yinon, who decided to cancel the original tender and soon publish a new tender that will enable women to compete.
In the new tender, instead of the Yoreh Yoreh certification requirement, it will be possible to present a bachelor's degree from an academic institution together with a kashrut supervisor certificate from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. In recent years, hundreds of women have been kashrut supervisors, and this qualification will now enable them to compete for the position of Knesset rabbi.
"Changing the education requirement in the new tender will enable a wider public, including women, engaged in the field of kashrut supervision and relevant experience in accordance with the requirements of the tender, to apply for the position," wrote Yinon.
MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) responded today to the publication of the new tender: "I congratulate the Knesset for stopping the tender that allows only men to apply and open the tender for both sexes," MK Stern said. "I know the role of the Knesset rabbi and am convinced there are enough women who can fill it in a good and dignified way. I hope a woman will be elected," Stern enthused.
Left-leaning journalist Nitzan Horowitz tweeted in response: "I see the joyous headlines that women will also be able to contend for the role of rabbi of the Knesset.
"Is this progress in your eyes?
"To me it's sad that already from the outset we're in the religious mindset. After all, what does the Knesset need a rabbi for? Maybe we should also appoint a priest and a sheikh?
"And why not a court or school rabbi?
"It's fundamentally crooked," tweeted Horowitz.