More information
° ASU32 EN

Expand your legal perspective and enhance your ability to analyze and compare key topics in family law between Israel and the U.S. This course will provide you with both practical and theoretical knowledge, focusing on topics such as access to marriage, the ability to divorce, reproductive rights, and the establishment of parenthood. It will also broaden your understanding of how the law interacts with culture, religion, and society.


Family law often reflects deep cultural values and norms. Therefore, exploring how different legal systems address matters related to family relations provides valuable insights into cultural distinctions.

In Israel, family law, particularly its religion-based laws governing marriage and divorce, is considered to embody the country's identity as a Jewish state, encompassing both its cultural-religious Jewish identity and its connections with the global Jewish community. This course will familiarize you with this unique legal landscape, which combines a mixture of religious and secular-civil laws. Our focus will be on understanding the socio-legal and political dynamics that drive developments in this field, particularly concerning access to marriage, the ability to divorce, reproductive rights, and the establishment of parenthood. You will also be introduced to the complex relationship between the parallel judicial systems that share jurisdiction in matters of family law: the religious courts and the civil family courts.

The course will also compare Israeli law, with different Anglo-American jurisdictions, primarily the U.S., regarding their approach on a number of family law issues. This comparative perspective will equip you with a nuanced understanding of the intricate relationship between law, family, and religion in different cultural contexts.



Class 1
Lecture: Introduction to the Israeli legal system, and its personal law system; introduction to principles of American family law

Class 2:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Access to Marriage and the Right to Marry
The meaning of (legal) marriage; The meaning of the right to marry; Restriction on the right to marry (age, marriage to more than one person, same-sex marriage in general)

Class 3:
Lecture and structured class discussion: divorce, religious divorce, and the challenges it raises

Class 4:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Religious Family Law and Gender Equality; Minority Groups in Israel and Family Law Dilemmas
A focus on polygamy

Class 5:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Alternatives to marriage
Informal relationships; private religious marriages; civil marriage abroad; nonmonogamy and polyamory; nonconjugal relationships

Class 6:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Reproduction, Parenthood, and the Parent-Child Relationship in general
Defining parenthood, parenthood in same-sex families, and multiple parenthood.

Class 7:
Lecture and structured class discussion: assisted reproduction
Sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy

Class 8:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Frozen Embryos Disputes; embryo mix-up

Class 9:
Lecture and structured class discussion: Posthumous Human Reproduction

Class 10:
Synthesizing & Wrapping up


Target group
Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, particularly from the Faculty of Law but also including Jewish Studies students, and incoming Erasmus students. English proficiency required.

ECTS credits
Successful completion of the summer school can be awarded with 3 credits according the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
All certificates of completion are issued as a micro-credential.

Course number:
Short- en long-term programmes, Micro-credentials
Area of interest:
Academic year:
2023 - 2024
Starting date:

Ayelet Blecher-Prigatis Professor of Law and serves as the Dean of Law School at the Academic College of Law & Science in Israel. Professor Blecher-Prigat holds degrees in law from Columbia Law School (LLM, Kent Scholar and JSD) and from Tel Aviv University (LLB, magna cum laude). Her research focuses on family law and theory, children's rights, and law and religion in Israeli law. Her work has been published in leading Israeli law journals as well as in the Arizona State Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, George Mason Law Review, and Columbia Human Rights Law Review.

Contact person:

Stadscampus, University of Antwerp, Belgium

More information

Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements to view this website. The browsers below are compatible. If you do not have one of these browsers, click on the icon to download the desired browser.