Exposing Women’s Exclusion on Religious Councils

14 April 2016

Hundreds of people have shared an online video (see below) produced by Shatil’s project to promote women within the religious establishment in Israel. The two-minute video satirically exposes the lack of women’s representation on the state-run, local religious councils that determine so much of their lives, from marriage and divorce to access to ritual baths.

“You live in a fast-paced and ever-changing world,” the voiceover begins. “But we at the Religious Council will never change…No woman serves as chair of a council and barely 17% of council members are women.”

This past Tuesday, the Shatil-led Forum of Women on Religious Councils published a new Guide to Women Serving on Religious Councils at the second annual conference for women serving on these councils and those interested in doing so.

Shatil’s efforts to increase women’s representation on religious councils is part of its work to enhance the voices of people working towards greater religious equality. To this end, Shatil collaborates with NIF grantees Hiddush, Ne’emanei Torah V’Avoda, Kolech, and Advot to promote the status of women within the Orthodox Jewish establishment in Israel.