The Jewish Week is distressed to report that Israel’s guardians of the faith are now refusing to accept conversions performed by several members of the Rabbinical Council of America, which is part of the Orthodox Union, the largest Orthodox group in the world. The article reports that since 2003, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has accepted conversions from a list of fewer than 50 approved rabbis. Since the list includes rabbis who have passed away, the implication is that the Chief Rabbinate prefers conversions by deceased rabbis to certain American Orthodox rabbis. Now that’s just harsh.
Rabbi Seth Farber, the director of ITIM, an organization in Israel that helps potential converts navigate the bureaucracy of the Chief Rabbinate, said that body “is marginalizing the American Modern Orthodox rabbinate.
“By not recognizing the legitimacy of conversions approved by the Beth Din of America, they’re intimating that the Beth Din of America has no legitimacy whatsoever,” Rabbi Farber continued. “It’s a slap in the face to American converts and American Orthodox rabbis.”
That sounds familiar.
Such a shondah that Orthodox Jews should now have to experience the religious exclusion, lack of legitimacy and general contempt faced by the majority of Diaspora Jews when they wish to practice Judaism in Israel.