Religion minister committed to halachah

Instead, it was a cordial meeting in which the Orthodox said they were reassured that there are no plans to recognize the authority of Reform and Conservative rabbis in Israel.

Sheetreet said he will support civil marriage in Israel, which would allow rabbis other than Orthodox to officiate, "when there is a substantial consensus for it," he said.

"Now there is support for alternative marriage for those who cannot marry."

But this doesn't offer new opportunities for Reform and Conservative rabbis to conduct marriages.

Allowing such marriages would cause social dissent, and they are relevant only to a small number of people, he said.

"It does not weigh enough in the current social climate," Shetreet said. "I know from the point of view of human rights it sounds absolutely ridiculous."

Left off Shetreet's itinerary was Agudath Israel World Organization, which in August called for Shetreet's ouster, saying he has shown a "callous disrespect for Halachah."