Ethiopian woman used conversion to bring non-Jewish husband to Israel

July 7, 2009 23:20
1 minute read.


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The State Conversion Authority revoked an Ethiopian woman's conversion to Judaism after discovering the woman used her new Jewish status to secure automatic citizenship for her non-Jewish husband, a senior Conversion Authority source said Tuesday. The woman, N., who claimed she was single, converted six years ago. The Interior Ministry later discovered she had been married at the time of the conversion. Ethiopians who immigrate to Israel do so under the Law of Entry, which operates under the assumption the new immigrants will undergo a conversion to Judaism and receive full Israeli citizenship. Not all Ethiopians are eligible for immigration under the Law of Entry, only those believed to have Jewish ancestry but who are not considered Jewish according to Orthodox Jewish law. An attorney close to the Conversion Authority said it was doubtful the woman would be expelled from Israel as a result of the annulment of her conversion since the Law of Entry does not limit the timeframe granted to perform a conversion. However, a legal source was unsure what would be the fate of the woman's husband and children. The same Ethiopian woman who had her Jewishness revoked was the victim of a violent hit-and-run attack perpetrated by a yeshiva student studying to become a rabbinical judge. At the time, N. was working as a cashier in a Jerusalem parking lot. When the haredi driver attempted to leave the parking lot without paying N. blocked the car with her body. But the driver proceeded, lifting the woman onto the hood of the car and carrying her 15 meters before knocking her to the ground. The woman lost consciousness from the impact, sustaining head injuries. The driver denied the incident until confronted with video footage from a security camera installed at the parking lot. The yeshiva student submitted to the court recommendations from Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Shas spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

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