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Ehud Olmert told Reform leaders he would keep an “open mind” about the conversion issue.

“I understand the importance and meaningfulness of the issue, and will approach it with an open mind,” the Israeli prime minister said Thursday at his office to a delegation of the International Convention of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

In Israel, issues of conversion are handled by the Orthodox rabbinate, and Reform and Conservative conversions conducted in Israel are not considered legitimate.

The five-day convention opened Thursday in Jerusalem. The Reform movement represents some 1.7 million Jews in 42 countries.

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