Messianic believers in Israel celebrate
Barnabas Fund, 22 June 2021 (excerpts)
Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled to grant tax-deductible donation status to a not-for-profit organisation of Messianic Jews.
The organisation, Yachad, runs a congregation of Messianic believers (Jewish followers of Jesus). It has made repeated attempts to be awarded status as a public institution, but the Knesset Finance Committee, led by ultra-Orthodox Moshe Gafni, steadfastly refused.
In October 2020 Yachad appealed against the latest rebuttal as their submission was denied on the grounds of being involved in “controversial” activity.
On 15 June, the High Court of Justice ruled in Yachad’s favour, ordering the Knesset Finance Committee to award the non-profit status known as “section 46”.
The ruling established that the Finance Committee’s decision to refuse tax-exempt status was founded on a false assumption that they had the authority to take into consideration that a non-profit organisation is engaged in “controversial” activity. The judges declared that the committee had “overreached in its authority”. Judge Isaac Amit concluded that the committee’s decision was based on “feelings, beliefs and opinions, and not on any factual basis”.