Founder of state conversion authority and Zomet Institute, dies aged 76

Rabbi Yisrael Rozen worked in the realm of conversion court as his most important work.

November 2, 2017 20:34
1 minute read.
Rabbi Yisrael Rozen

Rabbi Yisrael Rozen. (photo credit: CCHINSKI / WIKIMEDIA)


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Rabbi Yisrael Rozen, a leading National Religious authority, founder of the state conversion system and the Zomet Institute for halachic and technological solutions for modern life, died on Thursday at the age of 76. Tributes to the rabbi were made from numerous public figures during the day, and several hundred people attended his funeral on Thursday afternoon.

Rozen himself saw his work in the realm of conversion courts as his most important work. He helped establish the State Conversion Authority in 1995, which he then headed for five years. He served as a rabbinical judge on the court until mandatory retirement in 2012 and opened a non-state conversion court in Gush Etzion in 2011 for complex cases.

In 1976, the rabbi founded the Zomet institute in Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. Its purpose was to find technological solutions to challenges of a religious nature in modern life commensurate with Jewish law, such as for the disabled and the elderly.

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein described Rozen as “a man of Halacha” and a “ground-breaking innovator.”

Edelstein praised Rozen for “His courage in forging new paths in the religious world, which stemmed from his deep commitment to Jewish law and to the State of Israel and Jews of all types.”

A statement from the Zomet Institute said: “The institute, together with its employees, rabbis – and all those who have been helped by the institute and Rabbi Yisrael Rozen’s rulings which have eased their suffering – is saddened by and mourns the untimely passing of a leader who was a man of vision and action.”

“The merits of Rabbi Rozen, his halachic courage, and the special connection he had with the great halachic arbiters of our generation brought about dozens of halachic solutions that helped the elderly and disabled to live and observe the Sabbath properly... We share the great mourning of Rebbetzin Shlomit and the children and hope that they will find solace in his great merit.”

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