MK Ksenia Svetlova of Zionist Union is advancing a bill that would allow civil marriages to take place in Eilat, the Jerusalem Post reported. Religious MKs will most likely torpedo the plan even though it maintains the religious status quo in the rest of Israel.
Currently, Israelis are required to have religious weddings under the auspices of the country’s official religious authorities or conduct civil marriages overseas. Six percent of Israeli couples utilize a third alternative of “common-law marriage,” whereby the state recognizes couples as being married with no wedding ceremony at all.
Falling between the cracks are 360,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union classified as “without religion,” who cannot marry in Israel at all. There are also 13,000 non-Orthodox converts as well as 5,000 people halachically disqualified from marrying regular Jews. 400,000 divorced people and kohanim also face marital restrictions.