Israel's chief rabbis are elected by a panel known as the Electoral Assembly, a 150-member body (80 rabbis and 70 public representatives). Yet this public body, which plays an important and decisive role in the lives of Israel's Jewish citizens, women and men, by definition does not allow women to be fairly represented, due to the fact that 80 of its spots are reserved for rabbis, who are all men, while the 70 places reserved for public officials are generally filled by men due to the reality of women being a minority among local authority heads and elected officials. This situation leads to structural discrimination against women in the Electoral Assembly.
The discrimination became a topic of public debate in 2013, during the period preceding the election of Israel's chief rabbis. Among the 150 Electoral Assembly members at that time, there was only one legal woman appointee (!)
Emunah's bill seeks to change the internal composition of the 70 public representatives, so that places will be reserved for women assuring a minimum 20% representation among the 150 Electoral Assembly members. This will fulfill the obligation to strive for adequate representation of women, as Israel's Supreme Court has instructed on numerous occasions. In this way, women's voices will also be heard during the process of electing the country's chief rabbis.