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Supports women. Justice Levy Photo: Zoom 77
Supports women. Justice Levy Photo: Zoom 77
 
'Not controversial.' Rabbi Dichovsky Photo: Meshulam Levy
'Not controversial.' Rabbi Dichovsky Photo: Meshulam Levy
 
 

Will Rabbinical Court get female director?

Supreme Court justices hold hearing on petition demanding to change appointment procedure for director of Rabbinical Court, allow women to contend for role

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 06.17.11, 13:58 / Israel Jewish Scene

The High Court of Justice on Monday held a hearing on a petition filed by the Center of Jewish Pluralism, the Rackman Center for the advancement of the status of women and other women's groups against Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman.

 

The petitioners demanded to cancel the appointment procedure for the director of the Rabbinical Court, and allow women to contend for the role.

 

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During the hearing, Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy expressed his support for the appointment of a woman to head of the Rabbinical Court.

 

However, Levy proposed to withdraw the petition against the Minister of Justice, saying the current director of the Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky, is not a "controversial figure, even in the eyes of the liberals."

 

Levy told the petitioners to resubmit their claims after Dichovsky retires in 2014.

 

The petitioners, represented by Attorney Ricki Shapira Rosenberg, decided against withdrawing their request, claiming the justice minister failed to actively seek female candidates for the position.

 

In their petition, the groups requested to hold a new appointment procedure, in order to allow women to submit their candidacy.

 

Attorney Atara Kenigsberg, executive director of the Rackman Center and the only woman to submit her candidacy for the management of the Rabbinical Court, said after the hearing: "I submitted my candidacy as someone who is extremely familiar with the system of the Rabbinical courts and has worked many years for the advancement of women in the field of family law.

 

"One can only hope that we will witness a change in the system that currently discriminates against women in rabbinical courts," she said.

 

Justices Edmund Levy, Hanan Meltzer and Yoram Danziger said they would deliver their decision at a later date.

 

 

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