Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Conversion Consensus

As mentioned in an earlier post, the RCA recently reached an agreement with the Israeli Rabbinate to create a network of rabbinical courts for conversion that will be automatically accepted by the Israeli Rabbinate (link). This is, in my opinion, an excellent development. There had been pressure put on the Israeli Rabbinate to reject conversions by Modern Orthodox rabbis, by using measures such as belief in an ancient universe to disqualify rabbis and their conversions (see these posts - I, II). However, especially given the RCA's stance on these issues (link), I have been assured that this is not going to be the case. Note also that the EJF, the Charedi group that has tried to place itself at the lead of international conversion standards, does not factor into this agreement at all. Additionally, this agreement will not stop individual rabbis from performing conversions on their own and having the Israeli Rabbinate, if relevant, evaluate the convert's status on a case-by-case basis.

For a detailed document of the RCA's processes for conversion, see this document: link (PDF)

UPDATE: See this Op-Ed in JTA by R. Moshe Kletenik: link

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