ShorashimTzohar Rabbis Organization

The Shorashim project of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, an initiative that helps to prove Judaism through an international network of document and data collection, summarized its activities for 2018 with more than 3,000 files processed and closed.

"Shorashim's been involved in helping to prove the Judaism of about 2,000 Israeli couples a year and has enjoyed a great advantage because its recommendations are accepted by the rabbinical establishment and rabbinic courts. Over the years they've developed an exceptional network of connections to reach almost anywhere, enabling thousands of Israelis who immigrated to Israel under the Law of Return to use Shorashim to prove their Jewishness."

Over the past year, more than 3,000 investigation files have been processed throughout the country. Exciting stories of people's roots were discovered that transformed their lives from one extreme to the other. "All this is done with the wisdom, sensitivity, and extraordinary abilities of the rabbis who help these people to clarify their Jewishness."

The need for assistance from Shorashim is expressed mainly before a wedding. To be legally married, a couple is required to prove their Jewishness, but often have no documented evidence. Required documents may be proof of singlehood, ketubah marriage contracts of a mother or grandmother and so forth, but when it comes to immigrants from communities that emigrated from place to place because of wars, such documents are not available and marriages are delayed. There are also other situations requiring proof of Judaism, before burial and more.

Shorashim notes that "Many are unaware that even if they aren't required to produce proof of Judaism now, the more time passes, the decisive and critical factor in providing testimonies and the hourglass for finding evidence runs out. That generation of grandparents is disappearing, and lack of proof today could be an obstacle for future generations who will remain without proof."

Uri Shechter, who heads Shorashim of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization said: "We have capabilities that we've developed over the past few years that enable us to reach remote places and decipher involved and complex cases, based on the connections we've created and the meticulous and sensitive work of all the people working in the project. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners in this important project for their dedication and important work for the people of Israel. I'm sure that next year we'll succeed in achieving good results."

In view of the success of the project, it was decided to expand and open new branches in several cities throughout the country to provide free assistance to anyone interested in finding evidence of his or her Jewishness, whether for practical reasons or for the benefit of the family for future generations.