Conversion bill won’t reach Knesset floor for months

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s conversion bill reportedly will not reach the Knesset floor until October.

Proponents of the controversial bill had hoped to bring the bill to the Knesset floor on Wednesday, the last day of the Israeli parliament’s summer session before the start of a three-month hiatus. Its sponsor, Yisrael Beiteinu Party lawmaker David Rotem, reportedly is not willing to introduce the bill on the floor until he is sure he has a majority of lawmakers supporting it.

The bill would consolidate control over conversions under the office of the Orthodox-dominated Israeli Chief Rabbinate. It was approved last week by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

The Knesset will reconvene for its winter session on Oct. 11, when Rotem likely will reintroduce the legislation. 

American Jewish organizations and religious organizations have rallied against the conversion measure.
 

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