Nearly two years after the passage of the so-called Tzohar law, the legislation, designed to improve services in local rabbinates, has yet to be implemented due to the objections of the chief rabbinate.
The legislation was passed in October 2013 and abolished marriage registration districts to allow couples to register wherever they wish regardless of where they live. It was designed to stimulate competition among local rabbinates for the NIS 700 marriage registration fee so as to improve the service provided to marrying couples.Complaints have frequently been made about unhelpful and overly bureaucratic local rabbinates, some of which also refuse to register converts for marriage, and the law was intended to improve this situation.
The Chief Rabbinate has steadfastly opposed the law however, saying that it presents difficulties to local rabbinate staff and municipal chief rabbis in determining that the spouses are indeed single, if they come from a different jurisdiction.
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