While it may not solve all the problems, we believe that if enough couples protest by marrying outside the Rabbinate, the Rabbinate will be forced to adapt to Israeli public opinion and will be unable to continue conducting itself as it does today.
Moreover, if more couples marry without involving the Rabbinate, the legitimacy for civil marriage in Israel will grow. Civil marriage will remove the need to divorce through State Rabbinic Courts and will engender greater equality between men and women.
Another advantage of choosing a private marriage ceremony is greater freedom of choice:
a. Individuals can marry whomever they choose and are free to ascribe to halakhic restrictions at their own discretion, instead of by state coercion.
b. Couples can design their own ceremonies according to their personal needs and conscience. This means being able to choose who presides over the ceremony, even if they are not on the official list of Rabbinate rabbis. Couples can also choose to have women participate in the ceremony.
What are my wedding options?
a. Halakhic Wedding
(i) Halakhic ceremony through the State Rabbinate
(ii) Halakhic ceremony by an Orthodox Rabbi in Israel or abroad
We strongly recommend that anyone who chooses one of the above two options signs our Contract for a Just and Fair Marriage.
b. Non-Halakhic Wedding
(i) Civil marriage abroad
(ii) Secular wedding in Israel – for further options, see http://havaya.info/
c. Living together without being married
(i) Common law union
We strongly recommend that anyone who chooses options b or c sign a Declaration of Partnership(currently available in Hebrew)