Resolution on the Conversion Process in Israel

Posted on: 
Friday February 4, 2011

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly is committed to conversion according to halakhah and requires appropriate study and observance as well as milah/hatafat dam brit (ritual circumcision) and t’vilah (mikveh);

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly requires potential converts to be involved in their Jewish community’s life and rituals in order to be integrated into the Jewish people;

Whereas in the State of Israel, the Rabbinical Assembly and Masorti Movement have consistently worked to establish a compassionate and understanding approach to conversion and have worked with the Joint Conversion Institute across denominations;

Whereas Israel faces a serious challenge due to the aliyah of many who are attached to the Jewish people but who are not yet halakhically Jewish;

Whereas the efforts to establish a joint conversion commission have consistently encountered the refusal of the rabbinical establishment to complete the conversion of those committed to Jewish life not consistent with their narrow approach; and

Whereas the rabbinical establishment has exerted its power to prevent and discourage conversion from being completed including refusal to recognize conversions performed outside of Israel.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon the government of Israel to recognize conversions performed in Israel by Masorti rabbis as confirmation of Jewishness for citizenship (according to the Interior Ministry) and proof of Jewishness on a par with Orthodox rabbinical conversions for the registry of life-cycle events and status;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel become more active in encouraging Israelis who seek conversion to do so under the auspices of the Masorti movement, according to halakhah, as interpreted through the Va’ad Halakhah of Israel; and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call on the Knesset to implement fully the Joint Conversion Institute and appoint dayanim who will be reasonable and compassionate in their duties concerning conversion.