Jewish Journal

Exciting News from Israel on the Conversion Issue - Maybe…

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin

May 5, 2011 | 7:39 pm

I just read that the JTA is reporting that the Chief Rabbinate has decided to accept all Orthodox conversions performed in Israel. I question how they will define what is Orthodox, and who is Orthodox. But it does seem like real news regarding opening up a closed system. Another difficult question: Is the enticement of getting your own conversion accepted going to lure previously excluded Orthodox rabbis into forgetting about the other fight going on: Reform and Conservative fighting to get their own conversions accepted in Israel. But remember that for now, Reform and Conservative conversions done in America are accepted by the State of Israel regarding Law of Return and citizenship; non-establishment Orthodox conversions are not. So things are crazy, especially for our Jewish state that is always worrying about demographics. The Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America and the other Orthodox International Rabbinic Fellowship are both having their conventions in two weeks – with new presidents coming in. Let’s hope that is a time of real change, where Jews all over can connect with their land and with Judaism. Great way to go into Yom Ha’atzmaut weekend.

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