The special conversion court in Gush Etzion headed by headed
by Rabbi Chaim Druckman and his assistant Rabbi Yosef Avior
has rubber-stamped the bogus conversions of hundreds minors
brought into the country for adoption.
The Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami L'Inyonei Giyur has stressed that
the religious establishment Rabbi Druckman's "special
conversion court" totally defies the guidelines of the Chief
Rabbinate and halocho.
In nearly all cases, the children are being "converted" for
the sake of adoption by a non-religious family, thus
rendering the whole process null and void.
The disclusure follows a declaration presented to the High
Court by Ella Blass, director of the Children's Service at
the Ministry of Welfare and Labor.
"This court acts to provide an answer to the needs of the
children and families in a very sensitive and humane manner,"
the declaration claims. "[It] considers the needs of the
broad spectrum of the Israeli population." The declaration
does not include a single mention of the need to conduct
conversions according to halocho.
The Children's Service also acts as a liaison between the
special court and those who wish to convert their non-Jewish
adopted children. Information about the court is also given
to non-profit organizations so they can transmit it to
adoptive parents. In just two years since the national
Adoption Law was amended, some 400 adopted children have
brought into Israel by means of recognized non-profit
"To the best of my knowledge, since the implementation of the
Rabbi Druckman recommendations, the court has converted many
of these adopted children" Blass's declaration notes.
In response, the Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami L'Inyonei Giyur
declared that "Rabbi Druckman's conversion court constitutes
a tremendous scandal, allowing non-Jews to become part of the
Jewish Nation. In the absence of a guarantee that the
children will be raised to observe Torah and mitzvos
seriously, this court has no authority to convert minors."
A letter sent by the Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron on the
15th of Teves, 5758, explicitly stated: "No change has been
made in the position of the Chief Rabbinate in all that
pertains to the conversion of minors" (which according to the
halocho must be accompanied by kabbolos mitzvos
and leading of a religious lifestyle, etc.).
Permanent and prominent battei din seldom handle the
conversions of minors, except in rare cases, and only when a
Torah-observant family that has adopted a child is involved.
This is so because the conversion of a child who is raised in
a non-religious family, where he won't be trained to observe
mitzvos on a steady basis, is not valid, and the
beis din is not authorized to convert a child adopted
by a secular family.
Rabbi Druckman's activities are well known. However, the
Chief Rabbinate has done nothing to stop these conversions,
and even approves them, despite the above-mentioned letter.
Apparently, there are powerful elements in the Chief
Rabbinate who claim that it is possible to rely on Rabbi
Druckman and that his conversions comply with the guidelines
of the Chief Rabbinate.
Three months ago, a committee on behalf of the Council of the
Chief Rabbinate, was appointed. This committee is headed by
council member HaRav Simcha HaCohen Kook, the Chief Rabbi of
Rechovot, and its purpose is to examine the mode of operation
of the special conversion courts.
This committee is examining, among other things, the nature
of the families whose adopted children have been converted by
the special conversion courts.