Reform movement fights for right of return

The Progressive (Reform) movement on Tuesday launched the final campaign of its 20-year legal war to force the government into recognizing non-Jews converted in Israel by Reform and Conservative rabbis as Jewish and therefore automatically Israeli according to the Law of Return. On Tuesday, the movement's social action branch, the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), filed High Court petitions to order the Interior Ministry to grant Israeli citizenship according to the Law of Return to seven people living in Israel who were converted here by Reform and Conservative rabbis. The seven petitioners include Carlos Kamchu, from Columbia, Allan Goodrich, from the US, Natalia Dahan, from Russia, Andrea Federmutz from Austria, Valencia Adelcisa from Columbia, Grenville Adams, from the US, and Anika da Zuter from Belgium. All the petitioners live in Israel, they all participated in conversion courses provided by the Reform or Conservative movements, all were converted by rabbis belonging to one of the two movements and all are asking for Israeli citizenship in accordance with the Law of Return. Up until now, the Ministry of Interior has refused to recognize conversions to Judaism conducted in Israel by Reform and Conservative rabbis. It has also fought over the years against each encroachment by the non-Orthodox movements into what was once a complete Orthodox monopoly on conversions.