Tzohar opens TA marriage registration branch in cooperation with rabbinate

The organization’s marriage service took root after many couples were upset by the overly-bureaucratic and unwelcoming approach of local rabbinates to couples seeking to get married.

December 25, 2017 17:46
2 minute read.
wedding rings

Wedding rings [Illustrative]. (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)

The Tzohar rabbinical association has for the first time established a cooperative agreement with a local rabbinate in Israel, in this case Tel Aviv, to help conduct the process of marriage registration for couples.

The Tzohar office will perform the necessary marriage registration bureaucracy for couples under the auspices of the Tel Aviv Rabbinate and will then pass on the file to the rabbinate for final processing and registration.

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Tzohar currently has marriage registration offices in Jerusalem, Lod and Haifa that deal with the various bureaucratic processes required of a couple to register for marriage.

However, these branches are essentially extensions of local rabbinates in Shoham and Gush Etzion, which are run by Tzohar-friendly administrations, and the marriage registration of couples using the Jerusalem, Lod and Haifa branches are processed through the Shoham and Gush rabbinates.

The organization’s marriage registration and wedding service took root after many couples, especially nonreligious or traditional ones, were left frustrated and upset by what they said were the overly bureaucratic and unwelcoming approach of local rabbinates to couples trying to register for marriage.

The Tzohar branch in Tel Aviv is located at the Tel Aviv Port within the offices of EasyWed, an organization that provides a variety of event-planning and related services to help Israeli couples marry.

This new collaboration will help the two organizations increase public access of their services, including close support throughout the marriage process; registering for marriage through the Tel Aviv Rabbinate; bridal lessons, a requirement by law for marriage registration; and Tzohar’s offer to provide couples with a rabbi to conduct the wedding service free of charge.

Until now, Tel Aviv residents wanting to use Tzohar’s registration service had to travel to Lod. The new branch is expected to make things easier and increase demand.

“Strengthening the connection between Tzohar and the local rabbinates is an important objective of our organization, and we welcome this first initiative that allows us to partner with the Tel Aviv Rabbinate,” Tzohar chairman Rabbi David Stav said. “We are confident this will allow us to positively contribute to help couples build healthy new relationships and families in accordance with Jewish law and the laws of the State of Israel.”

He said he hoped such cooperation between Tzohar and the Tel Aviv Rabbinate could be could be extended to other fields, such as kashrut, and that it could be replicated in other cities.

Tel Aviv Religious Council chairman Eldad Mizrahi said the new collaboration would improve the marriage registration process and would strengthen the standing of the rabbinate.

“The joining of forces of all parties who want to encourage religious marriage through the rabbinate will help ensure the ongoing preservation of our Jewish identity as a nation,” he said.

There has been no chief rabbi of Tel Aviv since Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau retired in June. As a result, the marriage registrar is in practice the head of the Tel Aviv Rabbinate’s marriage department.

Rabbi Lau was the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003, under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, which is opposed to Tzohar’s operations.

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