Rabbinical Assembly Rejects Calls to End Recognition of Masorti-Conservative & Reform Conversions for Aliyah


November 13, 2022

Rabbinical Assembly Rejects Calls to End Recognition of Masorti-Conservative & Reform Conversions for Aliyah

New York, NY - In response to comments from several members of the likely future coalition determined to only recognize conversions by Orthodox rabbis for the purposes of immigrating to Israel according to the Law of Return, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the international association for Conservative/Masorti rabbis, issued the following statement:

"We unequivocally reject the invalidation of conversions by Masorti-Conservative and Reform rabbis for the purposes of Aliyah and denounce all initiatives that challenge the auspices of the main streams of Judaism and which seek to disrupt the critical foundation of religious pluralism that allows the State of Israel to survive and flourish.

"Israel is not a theocracy. The Megillat Ha'atzma'ut guarantees freedom of religious affiliation, stating: ‘The State of Israel will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice, and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens without distinction of race, creed, or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education, and culture...’

"Further, Israel is the homeland of all Jews. To deny the authenticity of Reform and Masorti-Conservative Judaism would effectively sever Israel’s connection with millions of Jews throughout the world.

"We affirm that each movement of Judaism has its own unique outlook and approach to Jewish life and it is not the purview of the Israeli government to judge the religious commitments of Jews from any denomination within or beyond the borders of the State of Israel.

"We demand the right of every Israeli citizen to find their spiritual home, to engage in the age-old commitment to the spirit of the dictum that differing opinions are the ‘words of the living God’ (Talmud Bavli Eruvin 13b)."