Russian Jews in Israel hold illegal marriage ceremony

3699991514_755aa64f09Here in Minnesota, we think dancing to hip hop during a wedding processional is sensational and shocking, and the rest of the country joined us in alternatively laughing and aplauding Jill and Kevin’s famous Minnesota wedding dance video last month. On erev Tu B’Av in Israel, another couple had a shocking wedding. Their political statement? Just getting married at all.

In Israel, hundreds of thousands of Russian-born Jews are not considered Jewish enough to get married.

The Forward’s Bintel Blog has a great piece on Olga and Nico’s wedding as political statement, which describes Israel’s system of Orthodox rabbinate-controlled marriages that denies some Jews the ability to marry just because they lack sufficient “proof” of their Jewishness. (FYI – Jews who have converted to Judaism through the Reform or Conservative movements are also not able to marry in Israel because the Orthodox rabbinate does not consider them “Jewish enough.”)

If you want to support the efforts of Jewish organizations to change the laws in Israel so that Russian Jews can get married in Israel, or just wish the happy couple a “Mazal Tov!” check out the New Israel Fund’s website. The NIF sponsored and funded Olga and Nico’s wedding.

(Photo of a Jewish wedding: Hendricks)