The government of Israel has agreed not to move the controversial conversion legislation forward for six months.
Earlier this week, the Israeli cabinet had advanced a bill seeking to consolidate all conversions to Judaism within Israel under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, which adheres to Orthodox standards. The bill’s critics, who represent all streams of Judaism, say the legislation gives the Rabbinate an unfair monopoly on conversions.
If the conversion bill passed, it would deny citizenship under the Law of Return to Jews converted in Israel by Conservative, Reform or privately run Orthodox rabbinical courts. It would have undermined the pluralistic streams of Judaism in Israel.
The Reform movement has agreed to freeze their Supreme Court petition on the matter for six months (assuming the court will agree), and the prime minister will set up a committee with all parties, to be charged with discussing the issues and challenges and delivering a resolution.
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven summoned Matan Zamir, Deputy Consul General of Israel, for a conference call with concerned community members to shed light on the matter.