24.06.2011 22.Siwan, 5771
Marriage in Israel is generally within the authority of the religious community to which the bride and groom belong.
The High Court of Justice has expanded the limited availability of civil marriage in Israel in a precedent-setting decision. The court this week directed the Interior Ministry to recognize the marriages of 14 couples who were married by proxy. They registered in the Central American republic of El Salvador, where the law does not require the parties to the marriage to appear before the government official who conducts the ceremony.
In practice, this means that brides and grooms in Israel can marry in El Salvador and never have to leave Israel. In one of her last rulings before retiring from the Supreme Court, Justice Ayala Procaccia granted a petition filed by the 14 couples seven years ago, after the Israeli population registrar refused to recognize their Salvadoran marriages. Most were Israelis who had married foreign workers or tourists from abroad who were hesitant to leave Israel for fear this would invalidate their visas or that they would not be allowed back into the country….