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Israel Plans Global Push To Track Jewish Marriage — And Divorce

An Israeli government ministry plans to keep track of Jews who marry around the world with an international database of Jewish marriage and divorce, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The database is meant to stop Jews from marrying another partner if they are already married, but religious freedom advocates warn that such a list could be used by the government in immigration cases when determining whether a would-be immigrant is Jewish.

According to Israel’s Law of Return, a person must have at least one Jewish grandparent to be eligible to become an Israeli citizen, or must be a convert to Judaism. In recent years, rabbis have been pushing for more stringent checks on Jewish status.

The Israeli religious services advisory organization ITIM condemned the database, and said could make it difficult for people whose parents are not on the list to prove that they are Jewish, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The database is a project of the Religious Services Ministry, and will be open to rabbis around the world.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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Israel Plans Global Push To Track Jewish Marriage — And Divorce

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