Last week the High Court of Justice last issued a landmark ruling granting Reform and Masorti (Conservative) converts who converted in Israel the right to citizenship under the Law of Return.The decision was a big victory for the non-Orthodox denominations in Israel, who hailed it as another step forward in their struggle for recognition by the Jewish state.So who are the converts through these denominations who can benefit from this ruling? Rabbi Galia Sadan, head of the Reform Rabbinical Court in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the Reform Movement in Israel converts approximately 250 people a year.That number breaks down into three main groups: Israelis who are descendants of Jews but not themselves Jewish, a group that includes for the most part the population of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and their children who are not Jewish according to Jewish law; a handful of Israeli Arabs converted through the Reform movement; and the group addressed by the High Court: a non-Jew who marries an Israeli citizen.This group is comprised exclusively of individuals who already have an A5 residency visa with an Israeli ID number, and have begun the naturalization process to obtain full Israeli citizenship, says Sadan.Both the Reform and Masorti movements have, in the face of various allegations, pointed out that as a matter of policy, they do not convert asylum seekers, foreign workers, or anyone else without a residency visa. Sadan says that between 60 and 80 individuals convert every year in this manner, amounting to as much as a third of all the Reform movement’s converts.For the most part, these people are the spouses of Jewish Israeli citizens who married abroad and came to Israel to live.Sadan said that there are also a small number of other situations in which a non-Israeli national who married an Israeli citizen can also convert through the Reform movement, but only those conversion applicants who already have an A5 residency visa are allowed to participate in their conversion program.The policy of the State Conversion Authority, which is under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office but subject to the regulations of the Chief Rabbinate, does not allow the non-Jewish spouse of an Israeli Jew to convert while they do not have full Israeli citizenship.But the naturalization process takes upward of five years, meaning that an aspiring convert would have to wait at least half a decade before even starting the conversion process.Sadan said that prior to last week’s ruling, non-Israeli Reform and Masorti converts who could not obtain Israeli citizenship has led to some extremely difficult situations.Should the Israeli spouse of a non-Israeli national who converted through one of these denominations die, the convert would have no legal standing in Israel, and the state would be able to deport them from the country.The same is true if such a couple would divorce, leaving the non-Israeli national convert without legal standing to remain in the Jewish state. The Reform conversion program is usually 12 months, although shorter for converts who have grown up in a Jewish environment in Israel. It includes an interview by the Reform rabbinical court, Brit Milah if necessary, and immersion in a mikveh.The Reform rabbinical court meets once a month and is usually comprised of Sadan, director of the rabbinical court Rabbi Gregory Kotler, and another rabbi serving as the third rabbinical judge.Rabbi Andy Sacks, director of the Masorti Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly in Israel and secretary of the Masorti Rabbinical Court in Israel, says similarly that the denomination decided in 2013 not to convert anyone in Israel without a residency visa issued with a view to naturalization and citizenship.The movement conducts approximately 120 conversions a year in Israel, of which approximately 60 are non-Jewish spouses of Israeli citizens who married abroad.Sacks says that the movement does assist a tiny handful of individuals to do what is termed “jump conversion,” where a non-Jewish, non-Israeli national such as someone in Israel on a student visa is allowed to participate in the Masorti movement’s conversion program in Israel, and then flies to London, where a Masorti rabbinical court performs the actual conversion.The convert then needs to spend nine months in the UK and participate in a Jewish community there in order to comply with Interior Ministry criteria for recognizing citizenship rights of foreign Jewish converts, before returning to Israel and receiving that citizenship.Anyone converting in this manner must first receive permission from the Masorti movement’s Exceptions Committee.The Masorti movement’s conversion course is 12 months long, although “weaker students” are sometimes required to continue with their studies longer.A date is then set for the candidate to appear before the denomination’s rabbinical court to determine whether to accept them for conversion and order a brit milah if required.The Masorti rabbinical court meets once a month and is usually comprised of the head of the court Rabbi Peretz Rodman, Sacks, and another rabbi serving as the third rabbinical judge.Finally, the convert will immerse in a mikveh to complete the conversion process.Because of a law passed by the 2015 government, the Reform and Masorti movements are banned from using state-funded mikvaot, which has left them with a narrow range of options.