According to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, while many believe a significant number of Israeli couples opt to get married abroad, that number only represents 4% of couples marrying. The Rabbanut states 96% of the couples marrying in Israel go through the official system.
The report is based on numbers released earlier this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics, which reports in 2012, 39,334 Jewish couples got married in Israel. Of that number, 37,751 Jewish couples married in Israel, and 1,583 Jewish couples married abroad. The CBS reports 96% of Jewish Israeli couples marry in Israel while 4% opt to travel abroad.
Of the 4% traveling abroad, one-third opted for Cyprus, 28% marry in the USA, 18% in the Czech Republic, and the remainder in other countries.
One third of Jewish Israeli couples that married abroad got married prior to 2012. This generally refers to olim that married in line with halacha years earlier and only registered their marriage with the Chief Rabbinate when they moved to Israel in 2012.
The Chief Rabbinate wishes to dispel the erroneous feeling that there is a significant number of Jewish couples avoiding marriage in line with halacha, which in fact, the number is far lower than most realize.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)