The Conversion Committee's Recommendations Are a Threat to Klal Yisroel
By Yechiel Sever
"We categorically reject all of the recommendations of the Conversion Committee which drastically threaten the status quo regarding conversion." This was the repeated statement of MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, on the issue as stated to Yated Ne'eman regarding the proposed bill prepared by the former minister Moshe Nissim per request of the prime minister which was apparently presented this week.
It was Yated Ne'eman which exposed on Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the dire provisions found in said bill. Centrally placed in Nissim's bill proposal are several very severe clauses presenting genuine threats of assimilation, like the example of recognition of the conversions of every registered and recognized community abroad, since it includes alleged rabbis and Reform and Conservative conversions made abroad, conferring authorization to rabbis of cities and to doubtful roshei yeshiva, the conversions of foreign citizens and usurping that power from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and transferring it to the conversion authorities.
According to the new bill, the Conversion Committee's list of dayanim will be composed of a committee of eleven members together with the Justice Minister, Chairman of the Knesset Legislative Committee, the two Chief Rabbis, head of the Jewish Agency, head of the new Conversion system and two additional representatives to be chosen with the consultation of the Prime Minister and the head of the Jewish Agency. This team, which will choose the dayanim, bodes ill from the halachic aspect since it will include representation from the Netiv body, shamefully known for its evil devices in the area of conversion as exposed by Yated Ne'eman in the past and its connection to the Jewish Agency. If these bodies will make up the list of dayanim, it is not difficult to imagine what so-called "Orthodox Conversion" they will manage to contrive. This will not serve to promote halachic integrity.