JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli rabbinical group and leading Orthodox rabbis in the Diaspora have agreed to help prospective new immigrants whose Jewish status has been questioned by Israeli immigration authorities.
Rabbi David Stav, the founder and director of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, said the agreement will help hundreds of potential olim who face basic bureaucratic challenges to become accepted as Israeli citizens.
“For most of these people there is absolutely no doubt that they are 100 percent Jews according to every understanding of Jewish law,” he said. “The challenge only comes from the fact that they hail from communities where the rabbinic authorities are deemed questionable or unknown by Israel.”
The new agreement will allow Tzohar to more easily “certify” the quality of the immigrant in question and remove obstacles in their immigration process.
The agreement was reached during a three-day international conference at the end of July for about 100 Israeli and Diaspora rabbis held in Jerusalem. The conference was sponsored by Tzohar in conjunction with the World Zionist Organization’s department for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora. The rabbis came from North America, Europe, Asia and Israel.
Topics addressed during the conference included religious human rights and equality, conversion and Jewish status, and how rabbis should use Facebook and Twitter to better engage their constituents.