Number Of Jews Deemed By Rabbinical Courts As Not Jewish Doubled

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — The number of people rejected as being not Jewish for the purposes of marriage in Israel appears to have more than doubled in the past seven years, according to data from the country’s rabbinical courts.

    In 2010, the number of Jews who registered to marry in Israel and then had their Jewish status revoked making the unable to marry was 103, or 3.1 percent of all Israelis who registered to marry that year. In 2017, some 231 of those registering to marry had their Jewish status revoked, or some 6.7 percent of those who registered to marry. In 2016, the number of those registering to marry who had their Jewish status revoked was higher at 248, but it represented 6.1 percent of those registering to marry.

    During the same years, the number of people on a list of Israelis whose Jewish status is “pending clarification” rose from 90 in 2010 to 175 in 2017.

    Some 6,727 names appear on the rabbinate’s list of those deemed unable to marry as a Jew in Israel.

    The figures appear in a report prepared by the Knesset Research and Information Center ahead of a meeting held Tuesday by the Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs. Tuesday’s hearing dealt the large number of Israelis deemed not Jewish for the purpose of marriage by the Chief Rabbinate.

    The rabbinical courts since 2016 have added people to the list of questionable Jewishness without their requesting certification of their Jewishness when, for example, another relative fails to have their Jewish status clarified.

    Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

    This story "Number Of Jews Deemed As Not Jewish Doubled" was written by JTA.

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