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JERUSALEM (RNS) The Chief Rabbinate, which has sole authority to determine who is and isn’t Jewish in Israel, is refusing to allow an actress to convert to Judaism unless she gives up her acting career.


  1. This is the sort of inconprehensible, narrow-minded, myopic viewpoint that has driven so many of us Jews to conclude that the orthodox rabbinic hierarchy is not just out-of-touch, but irrelevant.

    • Remember that this is an Orthodox conversion which means that it actually entails a serious commitment, and has objective standards that have to be adhered to. The standards may or may not accord with your or this conversion candidate’s personal preferences but after all, no one is forcing her to undergo conversion and no one is seeking your endorsement.

      • What a weasely answer!

        Its obviously political and legal as well. The Orthodox Rabbinate has the ear of the Knesset on all matters where Jewish Law intersects with national law. They get to determine if someone is a legally recognized convert and considered Jewish under Israeli law. Undergoing the conversion can mean the difference between being able to obtain citizenship or not. So its not just personal preferences.

      • Yeshaya Halevi

        What a weaselly answer given by Willnere. This is why Israel _must_ do a different kind of conversion: Convert to the American system of directly electing Prime Ministers and Knesset members, instead of the ungodly method currently employed, which forces politicians into making unholy alliances with the so-called “religious” political parties.

        And your reply, Willnere, is typical of the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) who live in Israel but refuse to join the very armed forces that save Jews from being murdered by its Islamic neighbors.

  2. this is the reason that Israel must shut down the institution of the chief rabbinate and no longer pay for ANY religious activities – not kashrut or imams or rabbis or priests or courts – it should institute secular divorce courts and secular marriage. A crisis in religious funding may create the kind of crisis that makes serious Jewish debate closer to the 21st century and not the more like mullah lite!