A major milestone

The High Court of Justice ruling recognizing private Orthodox conversions redefines the boundaries of public discourse in Israel on religion and state.

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April 12, 2016 11:52
4 minute read.
Israel protest

Protester holds a poster demanding equal rights for all Jews. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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IN LATE March, at the height of the political storm around the government’s decision to allow a prayer space for women and non-Orthodox streams at the Western Wall, the High Court of Justice made a highly significant ruling ordering the state to recognize conversions to Judaism by Orthodox rabbinical courts outside the purview of the Chief Rabbinate and allow the converts to claim Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

On the face of it, the court’s ruling has no bearing on the debate over the establishment of an egalitarian prayer space at the wall. But in practice, the two issues taken together redefine the boundaries of public discourse in Israel on religion and state.

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