The Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Giyur, founded by the late HaRav
Chaim Kreiswirth, av beis din of Antwerp, warned
against the danger of bringing thousands of goyim into
kerem Beis Yisroel through fictitious conversions
performed by the Chief Rabbinate.
In an interview last week MK Shaul Yahalom (Mafdal) confirmed
that specialized conversion botei din operate in full
cooperation with the Reform- and Conservative-run Joint
Conversion Institutes, saying "hundreds have already been
converted by the . . . network of botei din set up by
the Chief Rabbinate."
The Vaad has been warning about this problem for several
months and this collaboration was originally uncovered in an
investigative report published by Yated Ne'eman six
months ago. Now it has been confirmed by a third party.
According to the Vaad these botei din operate in clear
contradiction to the decision issued by the Chief Rabbinical
Council four years ago that states: "No one should
contemplate setting up a joint institution with them and
gedolei Yisroel have prohibited any and all
collaboration with them and their approach."
Nevertheless, specialized conversion courts continue to
operate in full cooperation with the Joint Institutes, a fact
the Chief Rabbinate itself does not deny, but which many
tried to hide until Yahalom made a public statement to the
The Vaad spokesman said the lack of seriousness that prevails
in these botei din is manifest not only in the
conversions they perform for students who study kefirah
at the Joint Institutions, but in all other areas of
giyur as well. The majority of those who undergo
conversions there do not observe Torah and mitzvos as
required, which disqualifies these conversions even
bedi'eved, yet somehow they receive the unqualified
approval of the Chief Rabbinate. According to Rabbinical Courts
Director-General Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
the number of conversions performed in Israel in 2001 was
2,600. Due to the large wave of non-Jewish aliyah, the number of
false giyurim has been rising steadily every year.
The Vaad is calling on the Chief Rabbinate, which has an
interest in legislation granting it exclusive control over
Orthodox conversions, to tighten their standards and to
establish a conversion system worthy of performing Orthodox
conversions according to halocho.
The Vaad wants to emphasize that a false conversion performed
by an Orthodox rabbi or beis din is no better for
Klal Yisroel than a false conversion performed by the
Conservative or Reform. In all likelihood it is worse because it is
much more likely to be mistaken for a valid conversion, thus
allowing non-Jews to assimilate into the Jewish people.
Someone who has gone through a ceremony under the auspices of
an Orthodox rabbi of beis din without a sincere
acceptance of Torah and mitzvos is no more Jewish than
someone who has gone through a ceremony under the auspices of
the Conservative and Reform.