US/World News

Israeli cabinet approves law enabling local rabbis to perform conversions

(JNS.org) The Israeli cabinet on Sunday, Nov 2 approved a law that will allow municipal rabbis to convert people to Judaism. Prospective converts will no longer need to go through Israel’s central rabbinical authority. The law – largely intended to facilitate the conversion of many immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union – was originally proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett. Israel’s haredi political parties opposed the law. Livni said that “there are Israeli citizens living with us whom we encouraged to come to Israel… who aren’t Jewish according to Jewish law, and the message we are giving to them today, those who have felt like second-class citizens from the moment they landed here in the airport, is that we are opening a new gate, not one of citizenship, but a gate to join the Jewish people.”

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