Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana on Wednesday revealed the details of his giyur reform plan, which will be brought for a vote in the Knesset in three weeks.
Although Kahana announced that the reform was written after consultation with HaRav Chaim Druckman, leading Dati Leumi Rabbanim, and experts in giyur, HaRav Druckman signed a letter last week with the Rabbanut calling for the immediate end of the giyur reform and signed another letter on Wednesday slamming the reform, together with over a dozen leading Dati Leumi Rabbanim.
Kahana’s reform requires all giyur to be carried out according to halacha but it essentially transfers the authority for giyur from the Rabbanut to a steering committee headed by the prime minister or the religious affairs minister, and comprised of two additional representatives of the prime minister and two representatives of the Rabbanut, leaving the majority vote in the hands of the prime minister (or the minister appointed by him).
This means that in another year and a half, Yair Lapid could have the final say on all matters related to giyur.
There are many other problematic hidden clauses, such as the fact that although the Rabbanut will have the right to object to a conversion for halachic reasons, the conversion will only be disqualified via a unanimous vote by the steering committee (with the prime minister maintaining the majority vote).
Additionally, local Batei Din will be authorized to approve private conversions carried out in the past that weren’t recognized by the Rabbanut.
Prior to revealing the reform, Kahana stated to the press that “this is a historical opportunity to end the assimilation in the State of Israel and deal with the 450,000 non-Jewish people living in Israel. Kahana added that his reform is the “only way to deal with this challenge.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)