December 12, 2018

To Save Israel’s Future, Fix Israel’s Conversion System

“The High Court of Justice recently ruled that a woman converted in 2016 by Giyur K’Halacha must now be registered as Jewish. While at this time the Chief Rabbinate continues to disallow these converts from marrying in Israel, there is hope that this High Court ruling will pave the way for full recognition.

It is equally disturbing that halachically Jewish couples choose to marry in Cyprus rather than in Israel, because of the manner in which the Chief Rabbinate operates. It should be a matter of deep concern that Jews prefer a civil marriage abroad rather than marry under a huppah here.

Similarly, we must assume it is the Chief Rabbinate plus the Arye Deri-controlled Interior Ministry that has contributed to the delayed arrival of 8,000 Ethiopian Falash Mura languishing in the camps of Gondor and Addis Ababa. Isaac Herzog, head of the Jewish Agency, says the agency is ready to absorb these potential olim and would ensure their undergoing a conversion process.

Our country has spent 70 years fighting outside enemies in order to survive as a Jewish state. The time is long overdue for us to ensure that we Jews remain Jewish and encourage, rather than discourage, those who wish to return to their roots. We should be in the business of outreach, both internally and externally.”

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