The Immigration and Absorption Ministry is in need of about 2,000 Orthodox families interested in "adopting" prospective converts to Judaism.
About six months ago the ministry began advertising to enlist Orthodox families interested in accompanying immigrants on the path to conversion to Judaism.
But there is still a serious dearth.
The potential converts are immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are not Jewish according to Orthodox halacha. Families are expected to volunteer to serve as role models for the converts as they prepare themselves for conversion under the aegis of the National Conversion Authority.
The ministry is targeting a very specific segment of the population that is both Orthodox, and that identifies with the goal of encouraging non-Jews to convert.
The haredi population, which opposes attempts to encourage mass conversion and the secular population, which does not lead a religious lifestyle and cannot, therefore, aid the prospective convert, are not viable options.
According to Avigdor Leviatan, head of the ministry's conversion department, approximately 1,800 non-Jewish immigrants from the FSU convert to Judaism every year. About 800 conversions are performed in the IDF via the NATIV program, and another 1,000 are performed by the national conversion authority, which works in accordance with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
There are approximately 4,500 people who have begun the conversion process, which takes about one year. About 2,500 religious families have volunteered to accompany these converts.
But there is a need for another 2,000, the immigration and absorption ministry said.
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