An important and meaningful step was taken a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court decided to permit the appointment of a woman as deputy director general of the rabbinical courts, following a petition submitted by several women’s organizations (Mavoi Satum, WIZO, and NA’AMAT). This is a first step which will allow integrating women as judges in the rabbinical courts.

In recent years, women have not flourished in meaningful and important roles in the rabbinical courts; rather, their position is under constant attack. […]

It is inconceivable that 30 years later, in a court that adjudicates for both men and women, only men are allowed to judge.

It is embarrassing that these women’s organizations had to go to the Supreme Court for this verdict. The decision, a first step in appointing female judges to the rabbinical courts, is an additional crack in the absolute power of the men in the rabbinate. It brings us slightly closer to the end of the monopoly of the rabbinate, which is controlled by a small and non-representative group that has hijacked Judaism from all of us and turned it into a political tool.

It is important to say that until a true alternative to the rabbinate exists in Israel, there will not be true equality between the genders. Women will continue to pay the price of the political groveling to the haredi parties and rabbis who want to keep us all in the 16th century. Until there is a true alternative, it is necessary to compel the chauvinistic and misogynistic system of rabbinical courts to include women, so that our voices can also be heard.