Before the establishment of Israel and in the first years after independence, the "status quo" arrangement served as a consensual framework for relations between observant and non-observant Jews in the country. In recent years, however, complex processes in Israeli society have caused the "status quo" to lose much of its force. The distressing result is that the common frameworks have been undermined, the internal fissures have grown wider, and the conventional mechanisms for resolving disagreements have been significantly weakened.
The Gavison-Medan Covenant is the most recent of a series of similar documents drawn up over the past decade that seek to mend these rifts. Its authors, Prof. Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Yaacov Medan, spent three years writing the Covenant, producing a comprehensive 300-page document that presents proposals, detailed explanations, and the authors' personal credos.
The Covenant deals with many issues, including the Law of Return, citizenship, and conversion, marriage and divorce, the Sabbath, kashrut, burial, and the religious councils.
This website provides access to in-depth information, under various headings: the solutions proposed by the Covenant in various domains; how it was drafted and what differentiates the Covenant from similar documents; the Gavison-Medan Action Group; events and activities related to the Covenant; public reactions to the Covenant; and answers to frequently asked questions.
You can also download a PDF version of "Main Points and Principles", written by Yoav Artsieli in cooperation with Prof. Gavison and Rabbi Medan (published by AVI CHAI and the Israel Democracy Institute).
We will be delighted to receive your reactions to the Covenant and our activities.