Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Government Secretary Tzvi
Hauser announced this week that a channel for dialogue would be opened
and the freeze by Reform Movement representatives toward the
government on the issue of conversion would be extended until July 10
of this year.
Reform organizations agreed to stop petitioning the High Court to
advance legal proceedings related to conversion, while the government
pledged to suspend all moves to alter conversion legislation during
The two sides also agreed to set up a "roundtable" led by Sharansky
and Hauser, where representatives from the Interior Ministry, the
Justice Ministry, the Jewish Agency and the Reform Movement would also
"The very idea of dialogue with these heretical movements that stab
Judaism in the back is very troubling," said Finance Committee
Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni. "On one hand Reform advocates petition
the High Court and turn the High Court into a game for them to toy
with, and now they're announcing that they won't petition the High
Court and are preventing Israel Beiteinu from submitting the
[Conversion] Law. The Prime Minister's recent trend of capitulating to
every group of this sort is a very dangerous course. He is seemingly
keeping everybody happy — on one hand there are no High Court
cases and on the other there's no [Conversion] Law — but the
Prime Minister must decide whether he is with us or against us."
Rabbonim and dayonim have been worried about reports that the Chief
Rabbinate will soon publish the findings of a committee it appointed
to inquire into IDF "conversion," an inquiry that is wholly
superfluous since it is abundantly clear that the "conversion
candidates" in the military have not undertaken Torah and mitzvas, and
in fact have not even kept a single Shabbos. Moreover, the IDF
conversion process involves heretical studies.
"The Chief Rabbi must stand guard in all of the conversion battles and
draw the obvious conclusions from the disturbing figures in the
conversion apparatuses. They should set up a limited conversion system
composed of reputable, fixed botei din," they said.