Court: Fund non-Orthodox conversion bodies


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the state to fund private non-Orthodox institutions that prepare potential converts to Judaism.

In addition to ordering the state to create an equal funding formula, the court mandated Tuesday that the government retroactively fund the affected institutions for the past three years.

The court ruling was in answer to an appeal filed by the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism, which performs Reform conversions.

Prospective converts must attend conversion classes to prepare them to go in front of the rabbinical court. The converts can be prepared by The Institute for Jewish Studies, a public institution set up by the Ne’eman Commission to teach converts from any background, and under the auspices of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Other public conversion ulpans are operated under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. In addition, prospective converts can attend classes under the auspices of private institutions, which are operated by all streams of Judaism.

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