NEW CONVERSION BILL LIKELY TO BE NIXED AS FACTIONS COME OUT IN OPPOSITION

Source: The Jerusalem Post

Long-awaited draft legislation on Jewish conversion which is set to be presented to the prime minister in the next few days appears to be doomed to fail, as shortly after details were leaked to the press both United Torah Judaism and Bayit Yehudi lawmakers said they oppose it.

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The draft bill proposed by former Likud government minister Moshe Nissim and obtained by The Jerusalem Post would remove conversion from the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate and have the state formally recognize progressive Jewish converts from abroad.

It would, however, create a state Orthodox monopoly over conversion, prevent full state recognition of progressive Jewish conversions, and at the same time greatly damage an independent Orthodox conversion program designed to prevent Jewish intermarriage in the Jewish state.

At present, the chief rabbi serving as president of the Supreme Rabbinical Court must sign off on every conversion carried out by the current Conversion Authority in order for each candidate to complete his or her conversion.

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