Leaders of the Reform, Conservative (Masorti) and Reconstructionist Movements in the US remained “concerned” over Israel Beiteinu's proposed Conversion Bill, after a Tuesday meeting in New York on the topic with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, and Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.
“Our meeting yesterday was an important step in increasing understanding of our concerns about this proposed legislation which would for the first time place legislative authority for conversion under the offices of the Chief Rabbi,” a joint announcement released on Wednesday by leaders of the non-Orthodox Jewish movements read. “We remain concerned... that this legislation would drive a dangerous wedge between the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry, 85% of which is not Orthodox... conversion must not be tied to one religious stream or point of view. Any legislation pertaining to conversion is by its nature directly linked to the Law of Return and is therefore a matter affecting the world Jewish community,” the announcement stressed, noting the desire to express these concerns to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his visit to the US at the end of the month.
Alongside the concerns over the proposed legislation, the religious leaders also made a point of emphasizing “our steadfast love and commitment to the people and State of Israel, who must continue to live with the unceasing threat of numerous enemies and to defend themselves against terror.”