Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Tishrei 5766 - October 15, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Vaad Cites Follow-Up Studies of Converts after Steep Rise

By Betzalel Kahn

The Conversion Department at the Prime Minister's Office issued an alarming press release boasting about 5765 "figures indicating a large rise in the number of converts."

Rabbi Chaim Druckman, who heads the Conversion Department, reported that one year after the Prime Minister appointed him to sign the so-called conversion certificates at least 5,800 such certificates were issued, including 5,360 in the first nine months of 2005, compared to 3,599 in all of 2004.

Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Giyur, founded by HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l warned against Rabbi Druckman's appointment from the outset and against the transfer of responsibility for the conversion industry to the Prime Minister's Office based on fears the State would encourage boosting the number of "converts" who undergo a conveyor-belt conversion process at special botei din for conversion.

Chareidi dayonim and public figures expressed deep concerns over the rise in the number of conversion certificates issued to goyim who underwent an accelerate conversion process without a thorough inquiry to determine whether they really intend to keep Torah and mitzvos after the conversion, since according to rulings by the leading poskim the conversion is invalid, even bedi'eved, in the absence of a genuine acceptance of the yoke of mitzvos.

A spokesman for the Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur founded by HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l said in response, "Conversions is not a number game to show the prime minister. Rather it is a serious business that needs serious attention and careful processing.

"According to a recent investigation made by the Vaad, over 90 percent of the Israeli Special Conversion Court system converts never had a sincere intention to fully observe Torah and mitzvos after their conversion."

The spokesman said that the Vaad was in contact with one of the dayanim of the Special Conversion Courts and he openly admitted to them that the Special Conversion Court system never conducts follow-up investigations of those who converted through them.

The Vaad is in contact with botei din kevu'im vechashuvim that have conducted such follow-up studies and they benefited very much from the effort and adopted guidelines in the conversion process to address issues that arose.


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