The the Ministry of Religious Services is establishing a Jewish Identity Administration, to be headed by former IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General (reserves) Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, as was reported by YWN-ISRAEL. Bayit Yehudi leader Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett selected Rav Ronsky to head the administration.
During the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, 26 Elul 5773, Yesh Atid leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid stated he wants to see representatives of Reform Jewry in that body. Lapid wants the words “from all streams” inserted in the guidelines to ensure the inclusion of Conservative and Reform representatives in the Jewish Identity Administration. Lapid stated it cannot be made up of Orthodox Jews exclusively. Education Minister and Yesh Atid colleague Rabbi Shai Piron told Lapid that including Conservative and Reform results in the exclusion of the non-religious, who are unaffiliated.
Bennett proposed a compromise, changing the words “all streams” to “all sectors of the people”. Bennett’s compromise solution was accepted, thereby including non-religious, Reform and Conservative representatives in a state body responsible for defining Jewish identity.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)