A prominent Israeli Orthodox rabbi has called for state recognition of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, who is considered to be a relative liberal within Israel’s national religious community, said in a written statement to his yeshiva students that state recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations would prevent their alienation from Israel. The recognition would be a state policy and not a change in Jewish law, he added.
He wrote that non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews do not want to identify with Israel both “because of the occupation, the racism, the control of another people by force” and becasue the religious movements to which they belong are not recognized.
Cherlow is the head of a hesder yeshiva in Petah Tikvah and a leader within the Tzohar rabbinical organization. Tzohar distanced itself from Cherlow’s statement, saying that it opposes state recognition of Reform Judaism, Haaretz