Following a debate in the Knesset’s Law Committee on a new conversion reform on July 12, ACRI released the following statement:
“Giving exclusive jurisdiction to the Chief Rabbinate on conversion constitutes a grave violation of freedom of religion and discriminates against the Conservative and Reform movements in Israel. It must be prohibited for the State to favor one type of conversion over another. The right to join a particular religious community is an inextricable component of religious freedom and human dignity. A law that violates these principles violates Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.”
Though the committee voted to pass the bill to a first reading in the Knesset plenum, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin made assurances that this would not happen – at least not in the coming days. Their statements came following an uproar by the Conservative and Reform movements in Israel as well as key leaders from the Diaspora Jewish community.