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The Supreme Court challenges the Rabbinate

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By an overwhelming margin of eight to one, the Israeli Supreme Court has belatedly but boldly challenged the blatantly unfair monopoly the Orthodox rabbinate has held regarding officially recognized conversions in Israel.

On March 1, Chief Justice Esther Hayut ruled that non-Jews who convert to Judaism in Israel through the Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism must be recognized as Jews under the Law of Return and are therefore entitled to Israeli citizenship.

This landmark verdict comes on the heels of a previous court decision, which recognized non-Orthodox conversions outside of Israel.

The latest ruling is vitally important. As opposition leader Yair Lapid correctly noted, Israel is ironically the only democracy where Jews are not granted full freedom of religion. “Israel must have complete equality of rights for all streams of Judaism — Orthodox, Reform or Conservative,” he said. “We all need to live........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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