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Israeli Lawmakers, Rabbinate Meet to Discuss Conversion Law

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Members of a Knesset committee lobbied Israel’s chief rabbis to back a government committee’s recommendations to resolve the conversion crisis in Israel.

Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Yisrael Meir Lau, told the members of the Absorption Committee that the rabbinate’s council would render a decision after reviewing the Ne’eman Committee’s recommendations.

The council is slated to discuss the matter next week.

The Ne’eman Committee, after seven months of complex and intensive negotiations, recommended last month a plan that would have the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements jointly prepare potential converts. The formal conversion would be conducted by Orthodox religious courts.

While the Reform and Conservative movements have indicated their acceptance of the Ne’eman Committee’s plan, the politically powerful fervently Orthodox parties in Israel — Shas, Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah — issued a joint edict last week rejecting the Ne’eman Committee’s approach.

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