500 converts finally to get certificates

Following a Conversions Authority truce, Rabbi Druckman is set to sign papers.

By MATTHEW WAGNER
June 22, 2006 22:53
2 minute read.
500 converts finally to get certificates

oleh 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Hundreds of converts who have been waiting for months to receive an official state document proving they are members of the Jewish people can breath a sigh of relief after warring camps in the Conversions Authority temporarily put aside their differences and went back to work. An estimated 500 conversion certificates waiting to be signed by Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Conversions Authority in the Prime Minister's Office, have piled up at the authority's offices on Rehov Kanfei Nesharim in Jerusalem over the past two-and-a-half months. Since the sides reached a truce two weeks ago, about 350 certificates have already been signed. Sources close to Druckman said his refusal to sign the documents was an attempt to cause an "internal catharsis" in the system that would result in more efficiency in the future. They said that an administrative change that would increase effiency enabled Druckman to resume signing. However, other sources said Druckman was attempting to put pressure on Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, administrative head of the authority, to quit. A letter from the Civil Services Commission rejecting outright the firing of Maimon forced Druckman to resume signing the certificates. Druckman's people claimed that Maimon was uncooperative with his superiors, overly stringent and bureaucratically inefficient. In contrast, sources close to Maimon claimed Druckman and his deputy, Rabbi Moshe Klein, had tried unsuccessfully to force Maimon to "cut corners" and "turn a blind eye" to their mismanagement. For example, in recent weeks, Maimon complained to the Prime Minister's Office's legal advisor Yoel Cohen that Druckman was not hand-signing conversion certificates. Druckman, he claimed, or Druckman's proxy, was using a rubber stamp. Cohen censured Druckman for what he a called a breach in administrative directives and ordered him to personally sign every certificate. According to Jewish law, a convert does not need a conversion certificate. Approval by a rabbinic court, circumcision (if he is a man) and immersion in a mikve [ritual bath] is all that is needed. But without a conversion certificate, the convert faces a bureaucratic gauntlet. Although they can marry, converts without a conversion certificate cannot receive a marriage certificate from the Interior Ministry. A marriage certificate is essential for anything from signing an insurance policy to qualifying for a bank loan or mortgage. Rabbi Seth Farber, head of ITIM, a non-profit organization that navigates rabbinic bureaucracies, said he was personally in contact with dozens of converts directly effected by the delay. "Hundreds of converts need the certificate to receive citizenship," said Farber. "I know of one convert woman who needs state-funded fertility treatment. But she can't get it without a marriage certificate. And she can't get a marriage certificate without a conversion certificate. So she's stuck."

Related Content

Netanyahu walks with Harper
September 10, 2012
test with pnina

By JPOST.COM STAFF