The following is the response of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, issued by our colleague Rabbi Gilad Kariv, after the police interrogation of Rabbi Dubi Hayon of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement. We stand in support of our Reform and Conservative colleagues in Israel against these outrageous and shameful actions, and reaffirm our longstanding belief that the stranglehold of the Orthodox monopoly in Israel must be broken.
At 5:30 am this morning: Rabbi Dubi Hayoun, Rabbi and leader of the Masorti Conservative community in Haifa, woke up to police officers hammering on his front door, questioning him on the “charge” of holding a chuppah (marriage ceremony) based on a complaint filed by the rabbinical court of Haifa. Today, Rabbi Hayoun will speak at the President Rivlin’s event in honor of Tisha b’Av, alongside key figures and leaders from the entire spectrum of Jewish streams. Never before has the battle waged over the spirit of Judaism in Israel been more pronounced.
The Reform Movement in Israel is outraged at the interrogation of Rabbi Hayoun, of the Conservative Movement.
The summons of Rabbi Hayoun to a police investigation is a disgrace! We are certain that this investigation will not bear fruit – Rabbi Hayoun, along with hundreds of other Reform and Conservative Rabbis, hold weddings in Israel every day. However, the very essence of this investigation is crossing a red line! We demand that the Attorney General intervene immediately and order an end to this outrageous investigation which is not only against Rabbi Hayoun, but against hundreds of Conservative and Reform rabbis in Israel, and against the tens of thousands of Israeli couples who chose them to officiate their Jewish ceremony of marriage.
This investigation is yet another expression of the aggressive behavior of the rabbinical establishment in Israel, supported by government authorities, against Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. We will not be deterred by this behavior, and we believe that we will eventually succeed in breaking up the Orthodox monopoly on religious affairs in Israel.
We will continue to officiate at marriages of marry thousands of couples each year. We will continue to accompany tens of thousands of Israeli families in moments of sorrow and joy. We will continue to fight this ugly wave of fanaticism. And we will continue to fulfill our promise as expressed in Hatikvah our national anthem: “Lihyot Am Hofshi b’Artzenu” – to be a free people in our country.
Later today there will be demonstrations in Jerusalem and Haifa against the Orthodox chief rabbinate monopoly on marriage.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv serves as the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)