Saturday, July 24, 2010

Israeli PM: Jewish conversion bill delayed pending negotiations

A controversial Israeli bill would place authority for Jewish religious conversion strictly in the hands of the chief rabbinate and "declared Orthodox Jewish law" within the Jewish state. However, the bill has sparked great concern for American Jews, who believe this latest bill, should it become law, would invalidate more lenient conversion process in the United States.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement, though, announcing the bill would be delayed while opponents and proponents of the conversion bill negotiate further. Both sides agreed to a six-month negotiation window.

According to Rabbi David Schuck, from the Pelham Jewish Center in Westchester, the bill disrespects "Diaspora Jews" and would restrict Judaism to a fundamentalist perspective worldwide.

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