Conversion is a great problem today. Whether we are talking about intermarried couples or the children of intermarried couples or even ordinary conversion. The way this issue is handled strongly influences the nature of the Jewish people for future generations. However we are not dealing with Torah prohibitions but rather rabbinic laws and social policy issues. EJF claims to be relying on the halachic rulings of Rav Moshe Feinstein. In fact Rav Moshe does permit conversion of intermarried spouses. In other words even if the motivation is not for the sake of heaven but rather to stay in the marriage - as long as they agree to keep all the mitzvos they are good gerim bedieved. At the same time he says he himself has nothing to do with conversion. He advised those who wanted to convert the spouse to find some other rabbi who is willing to do it. He refuses because of the very poor success rate for these conversions and wants nothing to do with the whole enterprise of conversion. Rav Chaim Ozer states a similar position. They are both acknowledging that it is permissible to convert these spouses - but by and large it is just producing non-observant converts. Thus EJF seems to be following the narrow technical rulings of Rav Moshe and Rav Chaim Ozer - but not their Daas Torah.
This makes their activities even stranger since they have spared no expense to show that they are following the guidance of gedolei Torah. However, they have produced no evidence that in fact the gedolim are supporting their specific program. I have cited a letter from Rav Efrati - that Rav Eliashiv's standard response as to how to deal with intermarried couples is to shun them - except in the case where they and their community thinks that they are in fact Jewish. Where is the letter from Rav Eliashiv that he approves of proselytizing intermarried couples? Where is the letter from Rav Dovid or Rav Reuven Feinstein that their father approved of the policies of EJF?
Some have claimed that the mere association of many of our gedolim with EJF shows that they support its policies - even though they have not explicity stated it. I had the opportunity recently to speak with a talmid muvhok of one of the star speakers at the recent Washington convention of EJF. I asked him why his rebbe went. He replied, "When my rebbe returned from the convention he said it was shtus v'hevel." I asked so why did he go? The answer was that his yeshiva needed the money.
If EJF's goal is simply to raise the standard of geirus - that is great. But then why is there a need for all their conventions and the millions they spend to convince non-Jews to convert? How many times do you need to say "we want to raise the standards". Where are their guidelines. What are their recommendations dealing with non-Jews entering kiruv programs or into yeshivos in the hope that they will convert? What does it mean that they produced a handbook of these guidelines but as Rabbi Tropper informed me they "withdrew it from circulation 2 years ago because some things weren't clear."
I am still waiting to hear their reply.