Marriage in Israel

In Israel individuals can be married as Jews only if they can prove they are descended from a Jewish mother or that they have undergone Orthodox conversion. There are an estimated 150,000 Soviet and Ethiopian Olim who cannot provide such proof, as well as many Jews by Choice who have found their way to Judaism through conversion performed by non-Orthodox rabbis. All of these Olim are denied access to religious marriage to another Jew, and there is no civil marriage in Israel to which they can turn. Thus they must either undergo unwanted Orthodox conversion or leave the country to be married civilly.

THEREFORE, the National Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to call upon the General Assembly of the Jewish Agency as representative of the Jewish people charged with the task of bringing the Olim to Israel and assisting in their absorption to call on the Chairman of the Executive to urge the Israeli Government and Knesset to resolve problems of personal status faced by new immigrants and remove the barriers which deny them access to marriage in Israel.