High Court judges ruled the State must provide Reform and Conservative conversion institutes the same level of funding Orthodox conversion institutes receive.
The State argued the total amount of funding is a mere NIS 1.5 million ($375,000) and that the differences separating Orthodox conversion institutes from other such institutes is significant enough to justify the disparity in support funding. The Conservative and Reform movements of Israel are a minuscule portion of the community.
The bench, which included High Court President Judge Dorit Beinish, Judge Edna Arbel and Judge Miriam Naor, determined the State's reasoning does not meet the obligation to maintain equality and that "the State is not required to support private conversion institutes. However, as long as it chooses this policy it cannot give preference to the type of conversion it prefers, rather it must act in an egalitarian manner."
In reaction to the ruling, Finance Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said, "Once again we are witness to the Court's coercive behavior on an issue the law places in the hands of elected officials, the government and the Knesset. When the Court finds their decisions are inconsistent with its worldview they impose their opinion on elected officials.
"The Reform Movement, which stabs Torah-true Judaism in the back, has not been given legitimacy, and I will do everything in my power, be'eizer Hashem, to ensure they do not receive funding for their acts of buffoonery, which is a waste of public funds on vain acts that bring only damage and destruction."