A group of prospective converts to Judaism have written a letter to Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau threatening to demonstrate against his holding up the signing of the certificates of conversion.
The converts today turned to Rabbi Lau and demanded that he sign their conversion certificates as soon as possible. If even after the letter the rabbi does not release the certificates they intend to begin demonstrations in front of the chief rabbinate until the chief rabbi signs their certificates.
"As you know, we went through a long and arduous process with enormous social, mental and economic significance," the converts wrote to Rabbi Lau. "The conversion process we went through was done in the court of the state conversion system, in which all conduct is subject only to you and the judges who serve in it are appointed by you or serve for many years under you and with your consent."
"We feel that we have through no fault of our own been made to be a tool in a political game that we have nothing to do with. Due to the failure to sign our certificates we are denied important basic rights. Some of us are not entitled to receive citizenship, to work in Israel, to sign a mortgage (since marriage certificates are not issued now either), and other basic actions.
The converts added in their letter: "We urge you in every form of request - do not hold us hostage in this struggle. Our conversion process is long overdue and we are eagerly awaiting official approval so that we can be treated as equal citizens in the State of Israel. Please, Honorable Rabbi, sign the certificates or our conversion and allow us to complete the process of acceptance into the bosom of the Jewish people. Our sorrow is growing day by day."
Religious Affairs MinisterMatan Kahana, who was hosted at the Israel National News studio, was asked about the dispute between him and Finance Minister Liberman about the conversion reforms. Kahana said that the dispute is to what extent the chief rabbinate will have a place in future conversions in Israel.
"I clearly see the importance of the Chief Rabbinate and want it to be part of the conversion process," Kahana said. "There is controversy here and it is small. We are coordinated with Liberman's people who are are working on the law backed by rabbis. Rabbi Druckman also thinks it is a good law that the State of Israel needs and we will pass it in the summer session."