a different side of Israel

Battle for Jewish Conversion Rights Rages

Rabbi Shlomo AmarOn Sunday Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Amar, put forward a proposal to the Knesset that will make the terms of Conversion to Judaism more stringent. The proposal is made to control the Reform Converts and prevent those converting to gain Israeli citizenship and acquiring the associated Right to Return privilage. The proposal was put forward for approval to Prime Minister Olmert. The Rabbi wants to amend the Right to Return Law that is currently is granted to Jewish Converts.

The issue has to do with the foreign residents and converts who see the process of conversion as there only ticket into Israel. It is suggested that this trend makes the conversion process devoid of any religious meaning and turns it into a formality on the road to Israeli citizenship.

The proposal was prompted by the recent call to the Supreme Court in Israel to decide on a proposal put forward by the Reform Movement, calling for recognition in the Reform Converts and not only Conversion done by the Orthodox. Amar’s proposal comes to prevent making the Reform Conversion equal in every respect to the Orthodox process.

Rabbi Gilad KarivRabbi Gilad Kariv of the Reform Movement calls the proposal anti Jewish and a move meant to protect the Orthodox monopoly. He hopes the Prime Minister will not support the proposal, that he believes will increase division between the world Jewry and emphasize division within the population. He calls separating the Jewish born from the convert a fundamental breach of Jewish principals.

The whole issue seems a little ridiculous when you think about it. We are not suffering from over population and I don’t see how we can turn away people who want to become citizens of Israel and are willing to become Jewish to do so. We are just not that popular !


  1. One thing is certain; We live in interesting times! I’d like to see both proposals backed by scripture played out in court. We may have the makings of the most popular movie in history here.

    “He calls separating the Jewish born from the convert a fundamental breach of Jewish principals.” He’s right, where’s the argument?

  2. in 2006 i quit my job, sold my car cash which was enough for a ticket to israel, left all my belongings and flew to israel to convert spharadi.
    its the 1 jan 2009!!!! and i still havnt converted.
    i dont want to convert in south africa because the beth din only offers ashkenazi conversion.
    no, i dont have anything against ashkenazi, i just FEEL i want to convert spharadi.
    practically, not all, rabbi’s in israel told me it would be easier – with regards to my visa (i’ll explain in a mo) to marry an israeli in cypress, then apply for conversion. reason being… i need a one year visa (working / student / etc.) to open a file at the Jewish high court. kibbutz visa is only 6months at a time and ulpan is 5-6months = they dont qualify!
    as i stand today, still not converted, i refuse to get married as a non-Jewish woman, and i dont want to convert anywhere else but israel because i want to learn from an israeli spharadi rabbi and study in israel.
    this is what i feel and this is what im going to succeed doing.
    i have been so unhappy at times and angry but still have the faith and hope that Hashem is only challenging me – kind of like my own exile in the wilderness. well, im not going to stray into babylon nor any other evils as i am Jewish – even tho i wasnt born with a piece of paper stating im Jewish my heart, mind, body and soul are definately Jewish!
    and even tho the Israeli govt / beth din make it harder, i think its right for them to be strict as conversion to Judaism is REAL and not to be used as a loophole nor an easy way out.
    i refuse to do reform or any other conversion – i will onyl do an Orthadox conversion because its serious, real, full and the only conversion acceptable.
    i am disappointed that “Rabbi Gilad Kariv of the Reform Movement calls the proposal anti Jewish and a move meant to protect the Orthodox monopoly.”
    Rabbi Gilad Kariv, i can understand that u feel this way as anyone who accepts reform is not serious in my eyes about Judaism – and how could you mention any sort of monoploy regading the Orthadox Jews!!!!!!!!!
    obviously, it is YOU running a monopoly and will be out of a ‘job’ if the Prime Minister does accept this issue at hand.
    it is only a good thing for every Jew when only Orthadox conversions are ‘offered’ and accepted.
    יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד

    well, as a convert who has been used all my moneytravelling in and out of israel for the past 2 years and wasted my money and lived and

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