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Orthodox Leader Urges That Proposed Changes in the Law of Return Be Temporarily Put Aside

Harold Jacobs, president of the National Council of Young Israel, has called upon American Jewish leaders to urge Israeli officials to temporarily put aside proposed changes in the Law of Return and other issues so that government officials there can direct their full attention to the current economic crisis in Israel.

Noting that “the divisive issue of ‘Who is a Jew’ should not be allowed to divert attention from the desperate economic crisis which threatens the very future of the Jewish State,” the Orthodox leader nonetheless said he supported “the ultimate goal of establishing halacha, traditional Jewish law, as the sole basis for determining the Jewish identity of any convert under the Law of Return.”

Jacobs assailed Reform and Conservative leaders in the United States and Israel for “misleading the Jewish public over the proposed change in the Law of Return.” According to Jacobs, “the proposal would only re-affirm the same standards of Jewish identity accepted by the Jewish people for over 2,000 years, and which are currently applied by the Israeli government in all Law of Return cases.”