Israeli rabbinical court rejects the Jewishness of Orthodox American convert’s son


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rabbinical court in Israel rejected the Jewish status of a man whose mother converted to Judaism in the 1970s and had the conversion reaffirmed last year by the Beth Din of America.

The woman converted in the United States in an Orthodox rabbinical court certified by the Beit Din of America, which is included on the list of international rabbinical courts approved by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for conversion.

Her son had submitted a request to be registered for marriage through the Tel Aviv rabbinate. Since his mother was a Jew by choice, he was forced to undergo a Jewish status investigation. His request for marriage was denied.

Itim, the Jewish Life Advocacy Center, has appealed to Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, David Lau, to overturn the decision. Rabbi Seth Farber, the director of Itim, said the Office of the Chief Rabbi is ignoring its own list of recognized rabbinical courts.

In November, the Office of the Chief Rabbi published lists of rabbis and rabbinical courts whose authority it accepts for purposes of conversion and divorce after six years of requests, lawsuits and Knesset hearings led by Itim.

“Despite the publication of the list there’s still no guarantees for conversion in any way, shape or form,” Farber said in an interview. “They’re not even listening to their own lists.”

Several years ago, his brother was married through the Chief Rabbinate and his Jewish status was not challenged, The Jerusalem Post reported.

All the rabbis that served on the mother’s conversion court are dead.

Recommended from JTA