Daily Israel Report

Rabbinate Confronted With 60 Missionary Converts

The Chief Rabbinate has been given a list of more than 60 still-active missionaries who recently converted to Judaism.

By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 7/7/2009, 7:35 PM

The Chief Rabbinate has been given a list of more than 60 recent converts to Judaism who continue to believe in Jesus – and are active missionaries.

Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifshitz, chairman and founder of the anti-missionary and anti-assimilation Yad L’Achim organization, met in recent days with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and provided him with the list. Rabbi Amar was reportedly “shocked” at seeing that the Chief Rabbinate had authorized the conversions.

An immediate solution was found for the future, however. Rabbi Lifshitz presented Rabbi Amar with a list of 17 questions that should be asked of any prospective convert. Under the assumption that the missionaries will either not lie straight out, or that the specific questions will help detect the lies, it is hoped that missionaries will be spotted and weeded out from the conversion rolls.

Yad L’Achim had prepared the list of names, ID numbers and addresses of more than 60 people who were active in missionary groups before, during and after their long conversion process to Judaism. The "converts" were then accepted as members of religious communities, and their children were accepted into religious schools.

The meeting between the two rabbis was held in advance of the anticipated Aliyah [immigration to Israel] of many Bnei Menashe members to Israel, amongst whom it is suspected are a significant number of missionaries. The questions to be asked of them will enable weeding them out while resulting in the legitimization of the conversion of the remaining members.