Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Mayim Bialik And Michael Douglas Join Israel Pluralism Push

Dozens of rabbis and community leaders across Judaism’s religious spectrum signed a statement calling for sweeping reforms to Israel’s official religious establishment and its policies.

The statement, which was published Friday morning, was written by Reform Rabbi Uri Regev, founder of the Israeli religious pluralism nonprofit Hiddush, and Orthodox Rabbi Marc Angel, the former leader of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City. It was signed by nearly 50 prominent rabbis and activists in the United States and Israel, including the actors Mayim Bialik and Michael Douglas.

The statement calls for Israel to enact seven reforms Regev has long championed: to establish civil marriage; to officially recognize conversions of all denominations; to abolish local and national chief rabbi positions; to provide equal access to state funding and services for people of all faiths; to privatize the religious court system; to integrate all citizens into the country’s mandatory military and civil service; and to accommodate gender equality at holy sites. It also calls on Israel to continue officially maintaining a Jewish character.

“The goal of providing total religious freedom remains to be achieved,” the statement’s preamble says.

The statement comes at the end of a Jewish calendar year that saw Israel’s government freeze a plan to expand an egalitarian space at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in June.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.