Woman Recognized as Widow
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent
A woman whose female life partner died will be recognized as a widow and receive a 40 percent compensation stipend from ’Mivtachim’ pension fund, following a ruling by the Haifa District Court last week.
The court rejected the pension fund’s claim that the woman be recognized as a widower, a status that would entitle her to a 20 percent stipend.
The woman was the partner of Or Lefler, who came to the public’s attention in 2004 when she sought to locate her biological mother in the hope of obtaining a bone marrow transplant from her.
After Lefler died in November 2004, her life partner successfully sued ’Mivtachim,’ demanding legal recognition as Or’s common law wife, and that their daughter be recognized as an orphan.
The insurance company rejected the demand, claiming that according to their policy the woman is a widower because she was the partner of a woman.
In the lawsuit, the woman’s attorney cited a decision by Attorney General Mencahem Mazuz, according to which in such cases it is the gender of the surviving partner that determines his or her legal standing for insurance purposes.