The Directorate of the Chief Rabbinate's beis din is
requesting of religious schools to accept children of
students in the Joint Conversion Institutes, operated
together with representatives of Conservative and Reform in
Israel, since one of the demands placed on conversion
candidates is a religious education for their children.
As the school year approaches and final enrollment lists are
about to close, many principals received official requests
from Rabbinate botei din and the Rabbinate's special
conversion botei din operating in cooperation with the
Joint Conversion Institutes. The requests read, "I hereby
confirm that Mr./Mrs. _____ is currently taking part in the
process of joining the Jewish people and is studying Judaism.
According to the impression made upon me, s/he is serious in
his/her intentions to convert and to observe Torah and
mitzvos. One of the demands made on conversion candidates is
religious schooling for their children, therefore I am asking
that you look into the possibility of accepting this student
at your school."
Based on this letter, principals believed these students were
sincere conversion candidates, but instead discovered they
were very far from serious in properly pursuing Judaism and
that they had been studying at the Joint Institutes, which
have been banned by all gedolei Yisroel past and
present, as well as the Chief Rabbinical Council. Many
candidates did not have a full commitment to Torah and
Principals who received the letter claim the Rabbinical
Courts Administration was trying to mislead them into
thinking the children were studying Judaism in Orthodox
programs. To this day the Chief Rabbinate claims it does not
recognize the Joint Institutes and that every case is
evaluated on an individual basis when a conversion candidate
appears at the beis din recognized by the Chief
Rabbinate. Despite these repeated declarations, children
whose parents have yet to appear at the beis din for
any conversion proceedings are now being recommended by the
beis din administration for acceptance at various
The Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Giyur founded by the late Chief
Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth says the Chief Rabbinate appears to be
giving the Joint Institutes unprecedented official backing
although the Chief Rabbinate itself bans it.
The Vaad chairman has asked school principals to refrain from
accepting these students, saying their goal is to secure
registration papers from Orthodox schools to "prove" the
parents have sincere and earnest intentions as conversion
candidates in order to allow special assembly-line conversion
courts to process their conversion applications
In a related item, the Interior Ministry declared it has
begun listing Reform and Conservative "converts" as Jews on
identification cards and in the national registry in a
response during a High Court appeal filed by Reform leaders.
The appellants claimed the Interior Ministry was disregarding
a previous High Court decision requiring the Ministry to list
them as Jews.
Last week an eleven-man panel of judges ruled unanimously
that the Ministry of the Interior was not in contempt of
court after the State Prosecutor convinced them the Ministry
was implementing the High Court decision.