Knesset Holds Session Promoting Legislation to Fund Pre-Marriage Education
Pre-Marriage Education Has Been Proven to Reduce Divorce Rates and Promote Higher Levels of Communication and Commitment
(Nov 9, 2019 – Jerusalem) Together in Happiness, an advocacy group committed to strengthening marriage and family values in Israeli society hosted a meeting this week together with MK Yehudah Glick to promote legislation which would fund pre-marriage education. The session highlighted how marriage education, both prior to and after marriage, has been proven to reduce divorce rates and marital strife and would save the national budget in considerable costs associated with failed marriages.
Susan Barth, Founder of Together in Happiness, said “Marriage Education is about providing couples with the tools to confront the obvious challenges that will come throughout life,” she said. “Divorce is a national crisis in Israel that can be significantly addressed through marriage education and it is therefore essential that we embrace this approach through increased awareness and funding.”
MK Glick said “Our children are being educationally prepared for employment but when it comes to the most important life decision we will ever make of marriage and life-long couple-hood, we are thoroughly under-prepared. I firmly believe that if every couple is equipped with marriage education and if the State of Israel encourages this trend, we can help foster a heathier and more productive society while also sparing the national coffers from the very high costs associated with divorce and marital strife.”
The Meeting also featured presentations from Israeli experts on marriage, divorce and family values approaching the issue of marriage preservation from the legal, financial and ethical perspectives. The keynote speaker was Professor Howard Markman of the University of Denver, who has written extensively on the topic and is often referred to as the “father of marriage education.” Addressing the specific challenges facing Israeli society, he said, “By enacting this legislation, Israel will be implementing a highly cost effective way to decrease the divorce rate while increasing overall heath of the society.”
Legislation which would provide governmental funding for marriage education was proposed in coordination with the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, who also addressed the Knesset session.
“People don’t have the tools to deal with the challenges of relationships and they lack the basic tools to deal with these issues,” said Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, a founder of Tzohar and Director of the organization’s ethics program. “The best approach is not to wait for a crisis in a marriage, but to give couples the tools to prepare for challenges and problems in advance, so the state really should incentivize such preparations ahead of time.”