Jerusalem protest: 'Stop treating Diaspora rabbis with contempt'

Natan Sharansky, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin join protest over Rabbinate's refusal to recognize conversions by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.

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Rachel Kaplan,

Natan Sharansky protests the Rabbinate
Natan Sharansky protests the Rabbinate
Hezki Baruch

Alumni of Ramaz are protesting "against the winds of radicalization, that have been blowing in the Rabbinate in recent years, and against the chief Rabbinate's contempt for the Rabbis abroad and for converts," they wrote in their official statement. 

The protest, near the offices of the Rabbinate, comes in wake of the Rabbinate's decision not to recognize any conversions officiated by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, 87, Rabbi of the New York KJ congregation and principal of Ramaz. Rabbi Lookstein has been a point of some controversy, particularly surrounding his conversion of Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In light of the government's recent negotiations with representatives of the Reform movement, regarding the Western Wall Plaza and mikvaot (ritual purity pools), the Rabbinate has been taking a hard-line stance against religious reforms.

The protest has drawn broad support, and will be attended by Natan Sharansky, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber of ITIM organization, and MK Elazar Stern.

Sharansky declared to Arutz Sheva: "Every Jew in the world needs to feel that this is his home, and it doesn't matter from which stream [of Judaism] he comes from. The protest doesn't need to be against the Rabbinate; rather, against the government of Israel."



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