Wedding (illustrative)
Wedding (illustrative)iStock

Over half - 51% - of Israeli citizens would choose an Orthodox Jewish wedding service, given the option between that and a government-recognized non-halakhic (not in accordance with Jewish law -ed.) ceremony, a new survey has found.

The results of the survey, conducted on behalf of the Hiddush association, were published in the Maariv newspaper.

The survey found that among the Jewish population of Israel, 63% of those polled responded that they would like to see the government recognize non-halakhic marriages, including civil weddings and those conducted by Reform or Conservative ministers. Among the secular population, that number rose to 90%.

Supporters of most of the parties represented in the current coalition were also found to be strongly supportive of government recognition of non-halakhic marriages: 92% of Yesh Atid voters, 97% of Labor voters, 80% of Blue & White voters, 100% of Meretz voters, 92% of New Hope voters, and 97% of Yisrael Beytenu voters, all expressed such an opinion. Among Yamina voters, that figure dropped to 51% - still a majority.

Those polled were also asked to state what form of wedding they would personally choose, if all options were state-recognized. Fifty-one percent said they would opt for a halakhic (Orthodox, or in accordance with Jewish law) wedding; 27% said they preferred a civil wedding; 12% preferred a Reform or Conservative wedding; and 10% of respondents said they would not choose to formalize their partnership in any manner.

Just 16% of the secular Jewish population said they would voluntarily choose to be married in an Orthodox-halakhic ceremony; around half said they would opt for a civil wedding. There was a small difference between how men versus women approached the question: 56% of men preferred the option of a halakhic wedding, as opposed to 48% of women.

It should be noted that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) is continuing the policy of her predecessor, Shas head MK Aryeh Deri, in not according government recognition to non-halakhic marriages.