Rabbonim viewed by some as being more liberal, have announced they are offering a giyur for those wishing to bypass the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. They are calling themselves “Giyur K’halacha”, and standing at the helm of the new body is a noted talmid chacham, Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch Shlita, head of the hesder yeshiva in Maale Adumim.
A brief glimpse at the history of Rav Rabinovitch from Wikipedia:
Rabbi Nachum Eliezer Rabinovitch was born in 1928. He is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi and posek, and head of Yeshivat Birkat Moshe in Maale Adumim. He was born in Montreal, Canada. His late daughter was Dina Rabinovitch (1963–2007).
Rav Rabinovitch began studying with Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung at age 14. At age 20, he studied in Yeshivas Ner Israel, Baltimore, where he received Semicha from Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman. He also obtained a masters degree in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University. He later completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science at the University of Toronto.
In 1951, Rabinovitch married Rachel Malka Shuchatowitz, the niece of rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman.
Rabbi Rabinovitch is regarded as an expert on the Rambam and a noted Torah scholar.
The new beis din will convert minors and adults. The announcement was released on Monday, 25 Menachem Av at a kenos to officially launch the new giyur alternative.
Working along with Rabbi Rabinovitch will be Rabbi Yaakov Medan (Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion), Rabbi Re’em HaCohen (Rosh Yeshivat Otniel & Mora D’asra of Otniel), Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin (Chief Rabbi of Efrat & Head the Ohr Torah Stone educational network), Rabbi David Stav (Tzohar Rabbonim & Chief Rabbi of Shoham), and others.
These rabbonim feel that the ingathering is underway and there are too many people entangled in the Chief Rabbinate giyur process who legitimately wish to become Jews and the process does not move ahead, hence they are going to offer an alternative.
One of the questions already being asked is if the Chief Rabbinate does not accept their giyorim, will it stand the test of the nation’s Supreme Court.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)