Historic decision:
Government to recognize private conversion

Jerusalem court orders government to recognize private conversion performed by 'Giyur K'Halacha.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Giyur K'Halacha

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Thursday that a conversion effected in the “Giyur K’Halacha” Orthodox private conversion Court must be recognized by the Interior Ministry for purposes of registering “Jewishness” in Israel’s population registry.

In the ruling, Judge Aaron Farkash wrote that “having considered the arguments of the request (...) I am responding positively and declaring that given the individual went through a conversion, she should be registered as Jewish in the population registry. “

The decision was rendered following more than a year of Israel’s government attempting to derail it. In May 2017, the cabinet proposed a bit that would derail private conversions and in November 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed former Justice Minister Moshe Nissim to lead a committee that would make recommendations regarding the future of conversion in Israel.

In late August, the State Attorney’s office acknowledged that “given the midpoint we have reached regarding the Nissim report,” it no longer objects to the court rendering a decision regarding the Giyur K’Halacha convert.

The conversion took place in the Giyur K’Halacha conversion court. The individual in question was converted in a court under the auspices of Rabbi Yehuda Gilad of the Ma’aleh Gilboa Yeshiva, in the summer of 2016.

The first filing for recognition in the court was in March 2017 by ITIM lawyers Elad Caplan, Reut Kleinberger, and Ester Biswar.

ITIM Director Rabbi Seth Farber said Giyur K’Halacha is “the only Orthodox court that converts children in Israel without insisting the families be 100% observant.”

In March 2016, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled – in a nine-judge bench – that private orthodox conversions could be recognized under the law of Return. Soon after that, Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri floated a conversion law that would have given Israel's Chief Rabbinate an absolute monopoly on conversion in Israel. Subsequently, the Nissim commission was appointed.