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Supreme Rabbinical Court Officially Approves Conversion of Mrs. Zeidmann

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The Supreme Rabbinical Court today gave its official stamp of approval to the conversion of American-born Mrs. Helen Zeidmann, who underwent Orthodox conversion rites last week. It did so by rejecting an appeal against the conversion filed by Shalom Cohen, a New Left Knesset member who held that the conversion performed by Army Chief Chaplain Shlomo Goren and two other military chaplains constituted military interference in civilian affairs. The rabbinical court claimed that Mr. Cohen had no standing as an interested party and therefore could not file an appeal. There was no word on how the rabbinical court planned to deal with an appeal filed at the same time as Mr. Cohen’s by a group of rabbis associated with Agudath Israel who charged that Mrs. Zeidmann had received insufficient instruction for admission to Judaism. The conversion had been carried out swiftly after Mrs. Zeidmann agreed under severe pressure from government leaders to undergo rites for a second time. She was originally converted by a Reform rabbi in Tel Aviv but the Ministry of Interior refused to register her as a Jew because in the eyes of the Israeli rabbinate, Reform Judaism has no status here.

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