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Prime Minister's Office, alarmed by poll showing 40% of public believes Rabbinate obsolete, launches new initiative meant to make religious services accessible, friendly to general public

The Prime Minister's Office is exploring several reforms in the National Authority for Religious Services – the Chief Rabbinate, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.


The PMO's move came after several surveys conducted in the matter, indicated that the Israeli public has lost its faith in the services provided by local religious councils.


One of the options taken under advisements calls for granting the public access to some of the services provided by the Chief Rabbinate – such as applying for a marriage license or issuing bachelor certificates – through the internet.


According to the report, the Prime Minister's Office  formed a team, consisting of representatives from various government bureaus, to form recommendations to that effect.


The team, atop taking the Chief Rabbinate into the internet era, is supposed to review other ways in which the services provided by it can be made more citizen-friendly.


The site is also expected to feature a new funeral bureau, aimed at centralizing all Chevra Kadisha operations.


Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel, who initiated the move, will be heading the team. Yehezkel was reportedly appalled by the surveys, which indicated over 70% of the secular sector wants nothing to do with the Chief Rabbinate; and that 61% of them believe it is obsolete – a sentiment shared by 40% of the general public.


Yehezkel wrote to Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar asking him to lend his support to the effort and Rabbi Amar agreed, sending several representatives to join the team.


"We’re not looking to form another not-so-necessary office, but to make the ones which already exist more efficient," said Yehezkel.


"We have enough bodies and sufficient funding and personnel… what we need not is to everything work properly. I'm tired of civil servants who forgot they are here to do just that – serve."


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.08, 10:25
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