Explain conversion stance, rabbinic court ordered


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered the High Rabbinic Court to explain why it nullified conversions by the former National Conversion Authority chief.

The move to cancel hundreds of conversions overseen by special conversion courts headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman came in February 2008, when a religious court judge in Ashdod retroactively annulled the conversion of a woman that Druckman had converted 17 years ago. The annulment also affected the Jewish status of the woman’s four children.

The Supreme Court’s ruling Monday came after a petition was filed by several organizations and two women whose conversions were affected, the Jerusalem Post reported. The petition asked the court to order Israel’s rabbinic courts to recognize all conversions registered by the National Conversion Authority. The rabbinic court has 90 days to respond. 

The woman and other converts in her position remain registered as Jews with the Interior Ministry, but the rabbinic court wields the power to refuse to marry them.

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