The Battle for Alternative Weddings

The organization Tzohar is fighting for the right to perform its popular "alternative" weddings in Israel. A recent dispute with the Ministry of Religious Services was apparently resolved after a media war, frantic mediation, and a high-level Knesset meeting.  Tzohar's victory lasted all of two days before the Chief Rabbinate decided to enforce a long-neglected and selectively applied regulation, again placing the future of Tzohar's program in jeopardy.

After Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's 1996 assassination, Tzohar was founded by a group of relatively open-minded, idealistic Religious Zionist Orthodox rabbis to bridge the growing divide between Israel's religious and secular populations.  ("Tzohar" is a Hebrew word for window; the organization's motto is "a window between two worlds.")

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