During the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday the government
approved the setup of a department of religious services in
the Prime Minister's Office as part of the reform program for
religious services the Prime Minister pledged to launch.
Since the new coalition was formed a few months ago MK Rabbi
Moshe Gafni has been working to improve religious services
around the country. At a meeting held to discuss the general
reorganization of religious services, Rabbi Gafni scathingly
raised the issue of the problem at the Jerusalem Religious
Council and the collapse of its kashrus apparatus.
Religious services are now headed by Attorney Meir
Schpeigler, who is responsible for the religious councils and
various religious services, except for the construction of
botei knesses and mikvo'os which are under the
Housing Ministry. The department for non-Jewish communities
was already transferred to the Interior Ministry when the
Religious Affairs Ministry was dismantled.
Although certain media entities tried to present the setup of
a religious services department as "a renewed setup of the
Religious Affairs Ministry," in fact the new department is
small and is a part of the Prime Minister's Office.