Israeli Rabbinate Amends Directive Offensive to Indian Jews

The Chief Rabbinate Council today changed its marriage directives in line with a recent resolution adopted by the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, and omitted any reference to the Bnei Israel community of Indian Jews. The earlier directives had called for an investigation of the ancestry of those of the Bnei Israel community wishing to marry other Jews, and had led to extended protests by members of the group who felt that they were victims of discrimination.

The new regulations do not mention the Bnei Israel, but call for an investigation of ancestry in any cases where-there are any doubts or suspicions regarding antecedents. The object, as in the previous directives, is to determine whether any ancestors were converts to Judaism who might have undergone incomplete conversion rites. Leaders of the Bnei Israel community expressed satisfaction today with the new directives.

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