Recently appointed Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) said he will try to make drastic changes that would allow for civil marriages and changes in the status of new immigrants who are not Jewish. Frightened by the high rate of non-Jews from the former Soviet Union, he wants to make it easier for a person to declare himself Jewish.
According to Jewish Law, a Jew is someone born to a Jewish mother, or someone who underwent a halakhic conversion. Tens of thousands of immigrants are children of Jewish fathers but non-Jewish mothers.
Coalition party Shas is against the proposal, and Israel Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) has opposed Minister Sheetrit's idea to demand that new citizens take a loyalty oath and a test on citizenship.