A woman completes her conversion to Judaism at a Jerusalem Bet Din
A woman completes her conversion to Judaism at a Jerusalem Bet DinFlash 90

The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) released a statement warning against efforts to change how conversions to Judaism are handled in Israel.

"The Conference of European Rabbis, which unites all prominent Jewish communities across Europe and proudly and unreservedly supports Israel, is expressing great concern at the alarming attempts of various factions in Israel to make changes to the current legislation regarding conversions and make a reform to the current status quo by granting legitimacy to certain factions to issue so-called conversion certificates. The ramifications of legitimizing this process have already been known to wreak havoc and destruction in Jewish communities in the Diaspora," the statement said.

"Conversion is the process by which non-Jews adopt the Jewish religion and become members of the Jewish nation. It is inconceivable that this process will be taken lightly and contravenes our Jewish tradition. There are also tangible risks that if conversions would be treated in an irresponsible manner, this would give rise to a situation where millions of gentiles would come knocking at the doorsteps of Israel, make some sort of loyalty pledge, and in a flash turn into Jews with equal rights and flood the country.

"A change to the current status quo will hold great danger for Jewish communities across Europe, as it gives any random individual the opportunity to easily obtain an alleged conversion certificate from Israel. They can then return to Europe and join a community as Jews - without us knowing how their conversion took place," the CER warned.

"Furthermore, conversions have direct ramifications on the Law of Return (חוק השבות) - a constitutional law of the State of Israel giving Jews the right to live in Israel and gain Israeli citizenship. Therefore Jewish conversions should be dealt solely under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

"We urgently request from anyone who can exert influence on this matter to act speedily and unreservedly in order to leave the current status quo as it is in order to prevent catastrophic consequences on the Jewish nation," the statement concluded.