More than half of local religious councils are insisting on a policy that is designed to circumvent one of the major reforms in religious bureaucracy that was approved one year ago by the outgoing 19th Knesset.
In November 2013, the Knesset approved legislation that abolished marriage registration districts, meaning that a couple could register for marriage wherever they wanted.
Previously, a couple had to register in the place of residence of one of the spouses. However, numerous allegations and reports have been made in recent years of bureaucratic and religious obstructionism at certain local religious councils when couples go to open a marriage file.
The purpose of abolishing marriage registration districts was to increase competition between local religious councils for the NIS 700 registration fee in order to improve the service provided.
The law states that a couple is entitled to register for marriage by any marriage registrar “regardless of their place of residence or where the wedding will be performed.”