Religion Magazine

Rabbanut Supports Testing Women Who Study Halacha

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Back in April a group of women who study halacha petitioned the Supreme Court to force the Rabbanut to allow them to take the Rabbanut tests for semicha that are offered to men, even if just to be able to confirm their level of knowledge of the material, separate from the certification for public positions..
Legal Counsel for the Rabbanut has now written his opinion that the position of the Rabbanut is following generations of tradition that does not certify women to the Rabbinate, and the recognition of knowledge on its own is not within its purview, nor do they have the authority to do so. Legal Counsel has recommended that alternate tracks be established for the purpose of testing female candidates for the level of knowledge they have attained, similar to other institutes of higher education.
source: Ynet
So it turns out the Rabbanut is recommending and thereby supporting that tracks for testing female students of halacha be established. It seems this would not certify them for the rabbinate, and therefore not for positions of leadership, but as the initial petition stated, most of the women who want to be tested are not looking for official State positions as rabbonim (or rabbaniyot) anyway and just want their knowledge confirmed for the ability to be an accepted authority for teaching and answering questions for those who ask, so this should be adequate for now. Eventually they will want more, and I think that is obvious, and then maybe the Rabbanut will be the correct address as the next step will be certification. In the meantime, the Rabbanut found a way to push them off, even if it requires supporting some form of testing.
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