Lawsuit filed against Religious Services Ministry over marriage fees

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The ITIM Jewish Advocacy Center filed a class action lawsuit against Israel’s Religious Services Ministry on behalf of couples required by local religious councils to pay extra fees for a marriage certificate.

At least six religious councils charged extra fees for what they called more special documents, but did not give the couples the option of purchasing the standard documents, according to a statement sent to JTA by ITIM on Sunday.

The lawsuit filed March 18 is suing the ministry for nearly $72,000 on behalf of the couples, according to ITIM.

“We have worked for the last few months to collect information from the religious councils that collect more money than is permitted from the couple that is getting married, and we hope that this litigation will help create a registration process for marriage that is fair and will prevent other religious councils from collecting fees beyond what has been determined by the Religious Services Ministry,” Rabbi Seth Farber, the founder and director of ITIM, told JTA in a statement.

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