Rabbonim Announce an Alternative to Chief Rabbinate Giyur


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stavRabbonim 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)


  1. I think this is a great initiative. These are respected talmidei chachamim and big rabbonim and it’s about time a stand is taken against the chief rabbinate. I think it’s a tremendous show of achdus and it in this new organisation is a whole list of big rabbis in Israel.

  2. Thsee rabbis are at least as distinguished as the current chief rabbis, and they didn’t get to where they were by nepotism and political connections.

  3. Seeing that Charlie is in favor then we all know there is a problem here
    Stevie wonder and his praising idols and worshiper a is on board stav is on board. We now have a new conservative movement and a conversion process that is going to confuse many

  4. Mr. Stav and these Open Orthodox type so-called rabbis have no chezkas kashrus and any purported conversion isn’t worth the paper its printed on.

  5. Wow, kollel faker, Rosh Hashana is coming, and you’re spreading vicious lashon hara about noted talmeidai chachamim. No wonder your name includes “faker.”

  6. @#1,

    Wow! in one short comment you managed to say,
    “stand is taken against” and ” a tremendous show of achdus.”
    Amazing how the mind works.

  7. to #6

    wow, as usual, pulling out the loshon hara card whenever someone tries to defend the torah against a weakening of yiddishkeit. every time some rov says something that people like you don’t like the vitriol and name-calling is overwhelming. all the “lying rabbis, who are stealing money blind to the generations issues etc. blah blah blah blah” but dare say something truthful and negative about a group of people who are apikorsim and are weakening the way we have lived for 2000 years you hear LOSHON HARA!!! YOU FRUMMIES ARE GOING AGAINST YOUR OWN RULES!!! (yes the OO are apikorsim, i won’t get into this fight again, but saying that mashiach is not a real person, and the celebration over the legalization of abominations quallifies as apikorsus in mine, and the torahs view, but then again, who knows if you wont find some unsupported daas yachid who agrees with that so ignore what i am saying). that stupidity is getting old, fast

  8. As far as I know all Gedolei Yisrael are very strongly opposed to anything like this . In the face of that , I can’t understand any sort of justification for them declaring themselves as an independent Bes Din on this .
    Apparently Rav Druckman also advised them strongly against it , when they asked him .

  9. Let’s understand what is really behind this.
    The Dati Leumi Rabbis hold that the State of Israel has heralded the beginning of the redemption. This notion is in peril because there are thousands of non-Jewish Russians living in Israel. Thus, the solution is to be more meikel in geirus and avert potential intermarriage through this.
    Charedi Rabbis and the Chief Rabbinate do not believe that Israel is the redemption (other than perhaps laying a physical framework for a one-day spiritual redemption) and thus they see no reason to diverge from geirus practices.

  10. It doesn’t help to learn under Rav Hirshprung or to marry Rav Ruderman ZATZAL’s niece..giyur is a serious matter and to introduce leniencies on your own initiative is wrong.. even if you are a rav of a community.
    This is one of the main issues of the Mizrachi community..if something is against the Torah, there just may not be a way to validate it..leniencies are unwelcome and unwarranted!

  11. These eruv rav’s only goal is to overthrow the yoke of Torah and disobey the gedolei yisroel. These Avi Weiss-types desire is to turn Orthodoxy into Reform.

  12. Toras Moshe: You may disagree with him, but have some respect for a Talmid Chochom. Rav Stav is nowhere near open-Orthodox. While his approach may not be the best, he is trying to address real issues and problems confronting Jews that are turning them off.

    Look, there are real problems confronting the Frum world. The problem is that people circle the wagons and disparage others instead of working to fix those problems.

    Aside from that, what they are doing is creating more Machlokes. There are administrative problems with the system that need to be fixed. The better approach is to try and fix it from within. Rav Druckman and other Dati Leumi Gedolim are against what they are doing.

  13. Barry: Mr. Stav declaring that gentiles are, hocus pocus, now Jews doesn’t make them any less gentile or any more Jewish. The problem is that the zionists took in hundreds of thousands of Russian gentiles. These gentiles aren’t about to start keeping Shabbos. The solution is not to wave Stav’s magic wand and call them Jews. Druckman has been doing the same thing.

  14. I find the level of disrespect shown toward the Rabbanim in question incredibly disturbing. One can disagree with a Rav – even strongly disagree – without resorting to name-calling; doing otherwise is a Bizayon HaTorah.

    I may not agree with Rav Stav on a number of issues, and I don’t know the basis for his position on Giyur – but I do know that Rav Nachum Rabinovitch, who is also participating in this initiative is no slouch when it comes to Halacha, and is not one who goes looking for questionable Kulos.

    If you want to bring a Psak from a Chareidi Gadol as to why this Giyur is not acceptable – great! There is no issue with this whatsoever. But resorting to ad hominem attacks does not strengthen your position, and only makes the attacker look foolish.

    an Israeli Yid

  15. Zalman: First, Rabbi Stav earned his Smicha through rigorous testing, not like some people I know in the States whose smicha is almost a joke.

    Second, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I’m in a position here having to defend someone I disagree with because a few of you guys have never learned Derech Eretz, nor do you care about the facts.

    Rabbi Stav is doing Giyur Al Pi Halacha. It’s no different than many Rabbonim in the States’ process. The difference is that Israel has a central authority in these matters and that central authority creates an administrative nightmare on all types of issue and that itself creates Halachic issues, especially when it comes to marriages.

    We are NOT talking about anything that has to do with Halacha in any of these issues. It’s administrative and political. Change should come from within, not by creating Machlokes, as Rabbi Stav’s approach ends up doing.

    Most people, who know the issues, don’t disagree with Rabbi Stav’s rational, just his methods and approach.

    BTW, the control here is by the same Rabbanut that you guys hate so much. You should also know that the Rabbanut is Chareidi controlled.

    Some of you are real hypocrites. Meaning, those that defended the Rabbanut in Yerushalayim over their nepotism system in Kashrut, when people appointed as Mashgichim by Shas representatives weren’t showing up to check on food businesses and those businesses wanted to break away and hire their own independent Mashgichim, similar to what you have in the States.

    Everyone is free to take whatever position they want, but at least be factual, consistent and honest about it.

  16. Just an FYI – Guys, keep in mind that we get judged in Shamiyim over every word we upload. It does not matter that we are all anonymous. So think twice before posting.

  17. #18, Thank you for your response.
    Let’s hope all sides will sit down and work out the differences rather than go to the media with their grievances….that is my greatest complaint.
    This is very important halacha, that can determine Klal Yisrael’s future not a dispute over microwave’s kashrus status(vis-avis, meat and milk).
    Let’s hope Rav Druckman can mediate, Be”H.