Rabbinical conversion court judges conclude three days of discussions (Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Rabbinical conversion court judges and emissaries, and others involved in conversion affairs, have concluded three days of discussions at the Nir Etzion guesthouse.

Conversion establishment personnel – from all government bodies dealing with conversions to Judaism, and from various government and private educational/preparatory bodies – dealt with various fundamental issues including various approaches to conversion, preparations for conversion, the role and status of rabbinical conversion court emissaries, etc. Participants discussed new proposals and various educational and Jewish law dilemmas regarding conversion and the conversion establishment.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shaul Amar addressed participants regarding the principles of conversion and the operations of the special rabbinical conversion courts, and answered participants’ questions regarding various practical and Jewish law issues.  He emphasized the need to adhere to traditional Jewish law while looking to apply possible leniencies in each situation.

Prime Minister’s Office Conversion Unit Director Rabbi Haim Druckman also addressed participants.  He and his deputy, Rabbi Moshe Klein, updated participants on recent statistics.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon established the Conversion Unit due to his desire to give special emphasis to this social-national issue related to the immigration to Israel of many persons from the former USSR who are not defined as Jews according to Jewish law.

At the end of the conference, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar led special prayers for Prime Minister Sharon’s recovery.