A Be’er Sheva court has ruled that Ethiopian keisim and rabbis suffered discrimination in salaries. The government will be required to pay each one 50,000 shekels ($13,000 US).
According to the decision, each rabbi and keis will also receive a life-long pension from the moment they retire. This is based on the fact that the government and the religious councils are joint employers and that both groups acted in a discriminatory fashion.
Experts estimate that each affected religious figure will receive hundreds of thousands of shekels. The defendants were also required to pay the legal fees, totaling 75,000 shekels ($19,500 US).
Alex Spinrad and Maya Ovadia, the lawyers who represented the keisim, say: “This verdict ended the discrimination against Ethiopian rabbis. The court expressed harsh criticism for the government’s lack of supervision over their employment of rabbis and keisim, which permitted the discrimination.”
Keisim are traditional Ethiopian religious leaders.