By state or community?

By NAFTALI ROTHENBERG
April 16, 2014 11:23

Can conversion to Judaism in Israel return to the simpler and more welcoming communal model?




Witnesses testifying before the conversion panel.

311_state conversion panel. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

THE “WHO IS A JEW?” debate in the Israel of the 1950s had constitutional ramifications but no effect on the position of conversion applicants at the time.

While the media and the Knesset wrestled with legal definitions that allow automatic citizenship to every Jew in the entire world, the rabbinical courts converted thousands of applicants to Judaism in a process that took no more than a year.

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