A Jewish couple weds in Jerusalem. .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A new poll by the Hiddush religious pluralism lobbying group has found that fully 74 percent of the public would like to have egalitarian wedding ceremonies with egalitarian ring exchanges and Jewish marriage contracts.
The poll, conducted ahead of the Tu B’Av minor Jewish holiday which has become associated with marriage and love and which falls today (Friday), asked respondents: “If you or one of your children wanted to get married - to what degree would you be in support of or opposed to a wedding ceremony that is gender egalitarian, for example: a mutual exchanging of rings and a Jewish wedding contract, which includes equal obligations for both spouses?"
According to the poll results, 92% of secular Jews and 81% of religiously traditional Jews would be interested in having egalitarian wedding ceremonies.
Although more than two thirds (69%) of religious-Zionist Jews were opposed to such a wedding, 31% said they supported the idea.
Hiddush argued that this “relatively high level of support for egalitarianism among Orthodox respondents” demonstrated that the struggle for religious diversity was not between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, but between traditionalists and progressives.
Of particular note was that when measured by party affiliation, 51% of voters for the religious Bayit Yehudi party said they would be interested in having egalitarian wedding ceremonies, although this was a high percentage of non-religious Bayit Yehudi voters.
The poll was conducted by the Smith Polling Institute for Hiddush by telephone on July 25-27 among a representative sample of 700 people from the adult Jewish Israeli population.
Hiddush director Rabbi Uri Regev said the survey underscored the desire of many Israelis to have a Jewish wedding ceremony, “but one that matches their values and ways of life, namely a modern, egalitarian ceremony.”
Hiddush’s 2015 Israel Religion & State Index conducted by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute found that 67% of the Jewish Israeli public support the implementation of civil marriages or civil unions, while a poll in June this year ahead of the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade found that 76% of the Jewish Israeli public support the establishment of some form of marriage for gay couples.