Almost one in nine Jews prefers to tie the knot abroad: A total of 12,653 Israelis, mostly Jewish, got married in another country in 2010, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Not all cases were civil marriages.
35,887 Jewish couples got married in 2010.
The figures show that in 2010, the Interior Ministry was informed of 9,262 marriage ceremonies held abroad, in which at least one of the partners was Israeli. In 3,391 of the weddings, both partners were recorded in the census registration. In 5,871 cases, only one of the partners was registered – 3,972 Israeli grooms and 1,899 Israeli brides.
Seventy-three percent of those recorded in the census registration after marrying abroad in 2010 were Jewish, 25% were defined as "other" – i.e. not classified by religion, and only 2% were Arab.
A total of 4,909 of Israelis married abroad were immigrants from the former Soviet Union who made aliyah after 1990.
Some of the ceremonies held abroad were civil marriages and some were religious, yet the CBS does not have the tools to make a definite distinction between them.
The CBS further noted that according to past inquiries, about 10% of those married abroad who were recorded in the census registration got married while living out of the country for more than a year and are not based in Israel.
About one-third of the couples married abroad in 2010 included a Jewish groom and a bride who is not part of the census registration. The CBS did not provide additional details on the bride's religion.
A further 17% were marriages between a Jewish bride and a groom who is not part of the census registration. Another 17% were marriages between two Jews with an Israeli citizenship.
Israelis' favorite country for marriage is the United States, which hosted 2,032 wedding ceremonies (22%). Cyprus is second with 1,524 weddings (17%), followed by former USSR countries with 1,348 weddings (15%).
Other favored countries include the Czech Republic, Canada and France, which hosted more than 100 weddings each.
Of all couples in which both partners are included in the census registration and are Jewish, about one-third were married in Cyprus (32%) and nearly one-third in the US (29%).
Among couples in which one of the partners is Jewish and the other is not included in the census registration, about half were married in the US and in a former Soviet country (31% and 18%, respectively) and others were married in the United Kingdom and Australia (3-4%).
Among couples in which one of the partners is Jewish and the other is affiliated with a different religion, most were married in the Czech Republic (50%) and Cyprus (34%).