The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has demanded the removal of a radio ad sponsored by the Reform and Conservative movements which promotes non-Orthodox weddings, and gives the false impression that they have legal validity, according to media reports.
The ad on Israel Radio for “egalitarian weddings” claims to be in “accordance with tradition,” but according to the Rabbinate they have absolutely no effect on a person’s marital status in the eyes of the state.
Harel Goldberg, a lawyer for the Rabbinate, called on the Israel Broadcasting Authority to cancel the ads.
“It’s not enough to emphasize that the ceremonies do not change personal status recorded at the Ministry of the Interior,” he stated. “They must also emphasize that the ceremonies have no legal bearing whatsoever for anything.”
By asserting that they are in line with tradition, they mislead people into thinking they have some legal or halachic bearing, which they don’t, said Goldberg.
In response, the ad’s sponsors said they are not bound by the Rabbinate’s “monopoly” on weddings, and that everyone is free to get married “according to his own way and faith.”
The IBA acknowledged that the Rabbinate’s complaint was received, but “have not yet been examined.
“On the face of the matter, the Broadcasting Authority believes that the campaign was not at all misleading. In any case, as of now, the campaign is not being broadcast anymore,” the statement said.