We want to get married in Israel. What documents do we need?
The Rabbinate in Israel will require your local orthodox “Beth Din” to authorise you as eligible to get married, based on their records. The details are usually that you are Jewish, single and eligible to get married. Most international Beth Dins will issues such a certificate, eligible for presentation to the rabbinate in Israel.
To make the necessary arrangements for these certificates, contact your local Beth Din (maybe ask at your synagogue or Rabbi) and they will advise you which documents you need to provide in order for them to issue these certificates. Usually this requires:
● Your Parents’ Ketubah (Jewish Marriage Certificate)
● Your birth certificate with both your parents’ names.
● A letter from an Orthodox Rabbi confirming that he personally knows you and that you are Jewish and single.
OR two jewish witnesses, that are not related to you, who have known you for at least 5 years.
● About 3 passport photographs.
● Payment of some sort for issuing the certificate.
My parents weren't married in an Orthodox synagogue. What do I do?
The Beth Din will be able to assist you in acquiring a few extra documents in order to establish your Jewish background.
I don't know an Orthodox Rabbi who has known me personally. What do I do?
Two Jewish witnesses are usually sufficient – most of us have no problem such who have known us for more than 5 years. They will need to testify to your single status before the Beth Din. The Beth Din can advise who is qualified to do this for you. Remember to get your witnesses approval first, and submit their names after that.
Where do I find a Rabbi to marry us?
We can easily assist you with this, as we work with a selection of Rabbis that perform weddings in Israel. You can also get in touch with the Rabbanut where you plan to get married, and open a file there. Again, this is a service that Simcha Maker provides.
The Rabbanut will expect to receive the letter from your local Beth Din. They will provide you with the standard Ketuba and can advise on a Rabbi to perform your wedding in Israel.
How long before the wedding should I contact the Rabbanut?
A file can be opened with the Rabbinate in advance, usually 3 months before the wedding is sufficient. Take some extra time into consideration if you plan getting the certificates yourself. Additionaly take care to notice the validity of the certificate you get from your Beth Din – it may have an expiry date.
Is my Israeli marriage recognized back home?
When you get married in Israel, with the official Rabbanut procedure, your marriage is registered at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and you receive an Official Wedding Certificate. Generally, this certificate is accepted by foreign authorities as equivalent to a civil marriage. You may need to get a notarized translation of the marriage certificate for official submission.
Is it possible to bring my own Rabbi to Israel?
Yes in most cases. Your Rabbi will need to get permission to perform the ceremony in Israel, and this is arranged with the Israeli Rabbinic Authorities.
What else is required?
The Rabbinate will usually require proof that you went to marriage lessons (e.g. Hadrachat Kalot) and that the bride has gone to the mikvah.