Unbearable ease. Pines
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Rabbinical courts to be prohibited from annulling conversion

New bill demands amendment to Rabbinical Courts’ Jurisdiction Act, in attempt to protect converts from living in fear, encourage future immigrants' conversion

Following the outrage around the controversial High Rabbinical Court ruling by Judge Avraham Sherman, annulling all conversions conducted by Head of the Israeli Conversion Court Rabbi Haim Drukman, a new bill was submitted to the Knesset Sunday, aiming to prevent future incidents of this nature.


The bill, submitted by MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor), demanded an amendment to the existing law, prohibiting the court from annulling conversions. The amendment to the law will be part of the Rabbinical Courts’ Jurisdiction Act, stating that “despite what exits in the law or any other judgment, a rabbinical court will not be able to rule on annulling a person’s conversion,” proposed Pines.


In the bill’s brief, Pines claimed that “the unbearable ease with which conversions are annulled in Israel today allows the rabbinical court to take away a person’s Jewish identity even if years have passed since their conversion, causing thousands of Israeli families, parents and children, to live in constant fear of having their identity questioned for not adequately keeping the faith.”


Pines draws a line between his bill and the latest events, mentioning Judge Rabbi Sherman’s ruling to annul a woman’s 15-year-old conversion as “an extreme and controversial case.”


“Such as situation creates constant uncertainty and terrible anguish,” Pines stated in his bill; estimating that “it will also deter potential converts from entering the conversion process, thus harming the country’s ability to properly absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants who wish to be part of the Jewish faith but are not defined as Jews according to Halacha.”


פרסום ראשון: 06.16.08, 20:19
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