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Monday, August 10, 2015 

Independent conversion courts are decidedly the best alternative to the corrupt rabbinate

Rabbi David Stav and some colleagues have established conversion courts independent of the rabbinate, which, as run by corrupt Haredis today, cannot be relied upon to respect the wishes of modern day converts who want to follow in Ruth's footsteps:
A group of rabbis from the Religious Zionist movement have set up a “competing” independent of Jewish Court of Law (Beit Din) which will exclusively handle conversions.

The group' is led by Rabbi David Stav, head of the Tzohar organization, and Rabbi Nachum Rabinovich, head of the Birkat Moshe Yeshiva in Maale Adumim. Others involved in the project are Rabbi Yaakov Medan, head of the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva, and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat.

While it isn't a “revolution,” say its backers, the group is an innovation, conducting conversions that the Chief Rabbinate has preferred not to get involved with. Candidates for conversions by the court will undergo religious education at one of several institutions participating rabbis are involved with, with the support of the Jewish Agency.

The Chief Rabbinate has not commented on the group's announcement. The group said that it would work with the Rabbinate on a case by case business to ensure that their conversion candidates are accepted as Jewish by all government agencies, where possible.

The group expects the majority of those it converts to be the children and grandchildren of families of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Although they are Israeli citizens, many of these children are the products of “mixed marriages,” with their parents marrying in the Soviet Union and immigrating to Israel. Most of the children speak Hebrew fluently and serve in the IDF.
Again, this is where I want to make a point: it's the faith to the religion that counts, not the race per se, and if people are actually moving here to get certain benefits under the Law of Return, honestly, I think that's where the flaw comes in. Don't convert just for some kind of monetary benefits. Do it because you actually like the ideologies within the religion, and because you like to live here. Sometimes it pays to do it more for dedication to belief than for stuff like economic benefit.

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