Knesset C’tee adds women to panel picking rabbinic judges

Decision follows petition before High Court.

Rabbinic court 370 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Rabbinic court 370
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee decided on Monday to increase the number of members on the Rabbinical Courts Appointments Committee from 10 to 11 and to require that four of them be women.
In November 2012, the High Court of Justice heard a petition criticizing the lack of female representation on the commission that appoints the judges of the Rabbinical Court. The petition against the state was filed by Emunah, the movement for national-religious women, and the Center for Women’s Justice.
In its response to the petition, the state said that the attorney-general believed that after the election, the new government should “consider an appropriate level of female participation” in determining the “new members of the commission.”
In light of the great importance of equality of representation, the state’s response said, the attorney-general recommended that the Knesset explore legislative possibilities to guarantee more equal representation of women on the appointment committee.
The state added that in light of the overall circumstances, then-justice minister Yaakov Neeman would not pursue any new initiatives to address the issue until the formation of the next Knesset.
The Knesset Law Committee’s decision on Monday appears to have fulfilled the implications of the state’s statement to the High Court.