A student in a chareidi seminary recently entered the Chief Rabbinate system as she is planning to get married. In line with standard procedure, she had to bring paperwork to validate being Jewish. She brought papers testifying to her mother’s conversion in the 1960s. The giyur was carried out by a rabbi who is not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate. She has since learned that fifty family members are not Jewish and they must now undergo giyur.
The young lady went to the Rabbanut in Netanya. She explained to officials in the Rabbanut that she does not understand why they are questioning her to prove she is Jewish since her older sisters and brother have already married in Israel, hence proving her Jewishness. It was determined her mom converted prior to being married to their father.
The rabbonim set a hearing for the young lady the following day. Rabbi Alon Arbiv took the case to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in the hope of receiving a determination regarding the giyur of the mother. Rabbi Arbiv learned the Chief Rabbinate of Israel does not recognize the giyur of the mother.
The Netanya Rabbanut was shocked to learn the Chief Rabbinate does not recognize the Jewishness of the seminary student. It has since been learned that 50 family members are viewed as non-Jews by the Chief Rabbinate.
The seminary student was immediately classified as ineligible to wed until she undergoes conversion. It is explained the heter for her siblings to get married was an error and they and their children are not Jews in the eyes of the Chief Rabbinate. It was immediately obvious to all involved the results of case were widespread and disastrous.
The Chief Rabbinate was restless regarding the case, issuing an extremely detailed ruling in which the mother was permitted and therefore, the family. The court arranged for all of the children in the family to go to mikve on the same day, quietly and behind the scenes, taking extraordinary measures to protect the dignity of all involved.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)