Will new Conversion Law bar non-Orthodox conversions?

Report claims new Conversion Law won't recognize Reform conversions - but also claims an alternative draft was already submitted.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Kippah
Kippah
Thinkstock

A new Conversion Law drafted by a special committee established by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will recognize only Orthodox conversions, Haaretz reported.

According to Haaretz, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss in the coming weeks possible alternatives to the Conversion Law. These alternatives will ban recognition of private conversions performed in Israel, the article said, ensuring that only Orthodox conversions will be recognized by the Israeli government.

The article also claims that the committee's law aims to create a new "Conversion Authority" which will be the sole authority authorized to conduct conversions in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate would not have control over this authority, but would have a say in choosing who its members are.

However, Haaretz claimed that former Justice Minister Moshe Nissim had submitted a draft of the law already. Nissim, speaking to Kikar Hashabbat, denied the claim, saying that he has not yet submitted any draft of the bill.

On Sunday, Behadrei Haredim reported that the bill would recognize conversions performed outside Israel by, "any well-known Jewish community which is a well-established and active community with a common and well-known Jewish identity, with permanent frameworks of community management and belonging to one of the recognized streams of the world Jewish population."

Such a definition would include several Reform and Conservative communities abroad.

Israeli recognition of Reform and Conservative conversions performed abroad is symbolic more than practical, since very few Reform and Conservative converts, or their children, immigrate to Israel.




top