Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Adar 5769 - March 5, 2009 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











American RCA "Converts" Loyal Christian

By Yechiel Sever

Rabbis from the US-based Rabbinical Council of America have "converted" to Judaism a woman who openly declared her loyalty to Christian beliefs.

Just over six months ago the woman, who was engaged to an assimilated Jew, took her first exam on the way to conversion. When asked about her belief in the holy Torah and the Jewish religion she unambiguously replied that she believes in Judaism "but also in the New Testament." Despite this, the Rabbis went ahead with her conversion.

Three months ago the conversion candidate in question, who studies at a university in northern New Jersey, was on her winter break. According to testimonials that even reached the rabbis in charge of her conversion at the time, she took part in Christmas celebrations with her Christian parents and family.

When she contacted the head of the RCA beis din, he appointed to his bench two rabbis involved in wholesale conversions, setting up a "special beis din" to convert her. These rabbis are sadly well-known in the American Torah world for their compromising approach to halacha. They have converted dozens of non-Jews without examining their real intent, thereby increasing the threat of assimilation spreading throughout the US.

Spokesmen for Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Giyur founded by HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l and Eternal Jewish Family expressed astonishment over the shamelessness of converting someone who did not conceal her loyalty to Christianity.

In another development, the RCA granted a problematic rabbi from their ranks permission to perform conversions. This rabbi is well-known in the US for allowing low mechitzos in botei knesses, Torah readings in women's minyanim and he even advised appointing a woman posek in every shul "to avoid discriminating against women."

When this rabbi became involved in conversions a few years ago, chareidi rabbonim in the US came out against him, saying his conversions cannot be relied on at all. Nevertheless the RCA has now given him permission to perform conversions.

Eternal Jewish Family is voicing grave concerns over the RCA's conduct and has reiterated calls by gedolei Yisroel zt"l vylct"a not to perform false or dubious conversions that lack legitimate oversight and raze the walls of Kerem Beis Yisroel.

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate sent a letter to the U.S. stating that it does not recognize these conversions.

According to reports, the RCA has been disseminating misleading information on rabbonim approved by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate to perform conversions outside of Israel, creating the false impression that certain rabbonim are authorized to perform conversions though their names have never appeared on the list of approved conversion rabbis.


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