This arrangement has been termed the status quo agreement and has been maintained despite numerous changes of government since.
Under the arrangement, the Mandate period confessional system would continue, with membership in the Jewish community being on the basis of membership of a body called "Knesset Israel", which was a voluntary organization that managed registrations of people who were related to it—that is, those recognised as Jews.
Israel’s religious authorities — the only entities authorized to perform weddings in Israel — are prohibited from marrying couples unless both partners share the same religion.
Therefore, interfaith couples can be legally married in Israel only if one of the partners converts to the religion of the other.
Hiddush also found that almost two thirds of Israeli Jews do not know that Israeli Jewish couples who marry in civil ceremonies overseas can, according to Israeli law, only get divorced through the Israeli Orthodox Rabbinical Courts.
In 1947 David Ben-Gurion and the religious parties reached an agreement that included an understanding that matters of personal status in Israel, which included marriage, would continue to be determined by religious authorities.
However, civil, interfaith and same-sex marriages entered into abroad are recognised by the state.
The changes were applauded by religious Jews, but have been criticized by secular Jews since they were instituted.Provision was made for the registration of marriages, but not for the manner in which marriages would be conducted.It has been argued that the Ottomans and the British did not contemplate a situation in which a person who belonged to one of the recognized communities would want to be married in a non-religious ceremony within that community.The only exception to these arrangements was that marriages entered into abroad were recognised as valid in Israel.
Jewish marriage and divorce in Israel is under the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, which defines a person's Jewish status strictly according to halakha.Members of Agudath Israel, for example, chose not to register.