The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel

We are outraged at the arrest of Rabbi Dov “Dubi” Haiyun of Moriah Congregation in Haifa. He was arrested and interrogated early this morning for the “crime” of officiating at a wedding outside the control of the Ultra Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Haiyun potentially faces two years in prison for holding this wedding.

Says Rabbi Haiyun: “It’s hard to think of an action that is less Jewish, on the eve of Tisha B’av…The police have been dragged into serving the Orthodox rabbinical court. This is a sad day for Israeli democracy.”

The Masorti Foundation stands in full solidarity with Rabbi Haiyun and The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל in the struggle for pluralism in Jewish life in Israel. We are committed to supporting our partners as they work to help Israelis bring Masorti Judaism and tradition into their spiritual and community life.

Masorti is committed to pursuing justice on this issue–noting the severe potential penalty for unofficial weddings. See our recent story on the wonderful “Robin Hood Rabbi,” Rabbi Arie Hasit.  He  officiates for Israelis who would otherwise be unable to have Jewish wedding ceremonies. Today’s actions against Rav Dubi mark a new and dangerous step in the ongoing attack on religious freedom, as police and state authorities move towards making the potential punishment a reality.

Yizhar Hess, our chairman of the Masorti Movement in Israel, calls today’s action: “an outrage that shows how drunk with power the Rabbinical Court is.” Personal choices relating to marriage must be freed from the restrictive dominance of the Chief Rabbinate. Masorti is committed to this.

Stay tuned for ways to help the Movement struggle for justice and progress.

 

Statement of the Masorti/Conservative Movement

July 19, 2018, 7 Av, 5778

We, the Masorti/Conservative Movement representing two million Jews around the world, are outraged by the arrest this morning of Rabbi Dov Haiyun of Moriah Congregation in Haifa, who was awoken at 5:30 am by police for the “crime” of officiating at a wedding outside the authority of the Israeli ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Haiyun potentially faces two years in prison for officiating at this wedding.

Rabbi Haiyun, who was ordained by the Masorti/Conservative movement at Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem, is the first to be arrested for this act since the law forbidding any rabbi outside the Rabbinate to officiate at a wedding was passed in 2013. Today’s actions against Rabbi Haiyun marks a new and dangerous step in the ongoing attack on religious freedom and civil liberties in Israel; one, thankfully that was thwarted by order of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

We uphold the right of rabbis of all Jewish streams, not just those under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, to conduct a wedding ‘according to the law of Moses and (People) Israel.’ We stand in solidarity with Rabbi Haiyun and all our colleagues in Israel who bring couples together in love and marriage according to the traditions of the Jewish people.

Cantors Assembly
Jewish Educators Assembly
JTS
Marom Olami
Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel
Masorti Israel
Masorti Olami
Mercaz Canada
Mercaz Olami
Mercaz USA
Seminario Rabinico Latinoamaericano
The North American Association of Synagogue Executives
The Rabbinical Assembly
USCJ
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
Zacharias Frankel College, University of Potsdam
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University