Shifting the Jewish balance

After a visit to Ukraine, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy is adamant that Israel must change its conversion policy

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July 13, 2018 10:28
At the Babi Yaar Memorial: Shalom Norman, Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki, Efraim and Hadassah Halevy

At the Babi Yaar Memorial: Shalom Norman, Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki, Efraim and Hadassah Halevy . (photo credit: TRIGUBOFF INSTITUTE)

 
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Efraim Halevy, a former Mossad director and the current chairman of the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute, returned from a trip to Ukraine in June buoyed by what he reports is a revival of the Jewish community in major cities, but more convinced than ever that Israel must change the rabbinate’s conservative policy on converting Jews.

“The number of people who are getting conversions in Israel is rapidly decreasing year by year,” he says. “If you have the odd 5,000 or so conversions by the rabbinate in Israel every year, the number of people from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is going down all the time, and this should be a major concern of the highest authorities in Israel, because they represent over a million people, and if this problem is not solved at a national level in relation to the basic strategic interests of the State of Israel, we are going to be in a very difficult position when we come to carrying out a headcount of who is a Jew in this country.

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