Who Can Officiate a Wedding in Israel?

This a very common question in Israel as there is much debate regarding the role of Government and Rabbinate as it pertains to officiating and legalizing a marriage in Israel.

jerusalem wedding

Overview of Israel Wedding Officiating

In Israel, Jewish weddings can only be performed under the auspices of the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. The Chief Rabbinate operates according to Orthodox Jewish law (halacha), which specifies the requirements for a valid Jewish wedding ceremony. Source

Chief Rabbinate Requirements for Israel Wedding Officiating

Specifically, the Chief Rabbinate requires that:

  • The wedding must be officiated by a rabbi approved by the Rabbinate. Source
  • The couple must submit various documentation to the Rabbinate’s marriage bureau, including proof of Jewish status, unmarried status, and in some cases, conversion documents. 
  • The wedding ceremony must follow Orthodox Jewish traditions, including the presence of two kosher witnesses and the groom giving the bride an object of value (traditionally a ring). 

Other Communities in Israel

Other religious communities in Israel, such as Muslims and some Christian denominations, also have their own religious authorities that oversee marriages within their faiths. Source

Additional Rules for Israel Wedding Officiating

It is important to know that civil marriages and interfaith marriages performed in Israel are not legally recognized by the state. Couples who cannot or do not want to marry through the Chief Rabbinate often travel abroad to get married, and then have their marriages registered in Israel.

In summary, only rabbis approved by the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate can officiate Jewish weddings that are legally recognized in Israel. Other religious or civil officiants are not permitted to perform weddings that are valid under Israeli law.

One common aspect of Israeli weddings is that many guests from abroad cannot make it – which is why livestreaming your Israel wedding is the perfect solution to make guests who couldn’t attend feel like they got to share you simcha with you.

Contact Us

Please be in touch and we will get back to you shortly