Following various reports of the disturbing state of affairs within
the IDF conversion apparatus, Attorney Shimon Yaakov, who serves as
legal adviser for rabbinical jurisdiction at the rabbinical courts
directorship, conducted a comprehensive study that revealed alarming
"During the 13 years from the start of 1996 through the end of 2008, a
total of 118,521 couples divorced, of which 1,313 were converts (328
men and 985 women). At the time of divorce, 97.2% of the converts were
not observant," he writes. This finding is not derived "solely on a
survey based on an empirical formula, which itself is an accepted
scientific method in the academic world. Rather it is derived from a
detailed computer assessment of all of the `ma'aseh beis din'
documents issued in Israel between 1996 and 2008, and therefore this
finding is absolute, precise and unambiguous... This statistic should
be a cause for deep concern among those involved in the task of
People who conducted careful examinations of the issue rejected
outright the claim heard recently that thousands of conversion
requests were abandoned or rebuffed due to stringent demands of
mitzvah observance, therefore presumably the thousands of accepted
"converts" accepted the mitzvahs.
The fact of the matter is that all of the requests that were rejected
were either from people who came to Nativ just to enjoy the trips and
leisure activities that the program arranges in preparation for
"national conversion" and upon reaching the actual conversion process
in practice said they were uninterested in conversion in any form, or
from people who openly declared they would not take part in the
routine lie of undertaking mitzvahs.
On the other hand, those who felt a need for a conversion certificate
because they wanted to marry a Jew and to ensure that their children
and family would be recognized as Jews agreed to make empty
declarations, though officials in charge of the conversion system were
well aware that the conversion candidate did not have genuine
Further evidence of this can be seen in the astonishingly high number
of young women who undergo the "conversion procedure."
Conversion court member David Bess, in an article published in
Tzohar, 30, wrote that according to calculations by demographer
Sergio Della Pergola, a professor at The Hebrew University, there are
2,000 women from the FSU in every one year age cohort.
"It comes out, therefore, that we convert a very significant portion
of these young women. During each of these eight years (1999-2006) we
converted an average of 1,529 people. The lion's share (80%-90%) of
converts among FSU immigrants are young women, the vast majority of
whom are single, and who have a vested interest in conversion in order
to improve their marriage prospects; for the remainder of the
population there is not much interest in conversion."