Tuesday, May 20, 2008

European rabbis invalidate conversions done by Rav Druckman

The Conference of European Rabbis announced this week that it would not recognize converts who were converted by rabbis in Israel, singling out Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate's State Conversion Authority.

"We oppose the phenomenon of Israeli rabbis shuttling to Europe especially to perform a conversion and then shuttling back," said Rabbi Moshe Lebel, Rabbinical Director of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) in a telephone interview from Moscow. "These rabbis are not familiar with the reality in Europe," he added.

"I know of several cases where Druckman and other Israeli rabbis performed conversions for people who lived in communities in places like Germany and Scandinavia where it was almost impossible to adhere to a religious way of life. There was no minyan [prayer quorum], no kosher butcher, no mikveh [ritual bath]." The CER's decision comes just two weeks after a judge who sits on Israel's High Rabbinical Court, the most senior rabbinical body in the state, cast doubt on the validity of conversions performed by Druckman in Israel.


In addition to authorizing conversions in Israel, Druckman has also performed dozens of conversions in European communities where there was no recognized rabbinical court. In the wake of Sherman's accusations, the CER has decided to invalidate all conversions performed by Druckman or other Israeli rabbis operating like Druckman in Europe.

"In Israel the argument can be made that non-Jews who convert continue to live in a state with a Jewish majority in which the dominant culture is more or less Jewish," said Lebel.

"But in Europe it is of utmost importance that the potential convert belong to a strong Jewish community after his or her conversion. The convert needs the support of the community to remain religious and observant."



  1. Many non Jews from South America and Russia who went to Israel have been coming to Jewish communities throughout the world for the past several years as they wish to marry.

    Jewish communities with limited resources cannot afford to support non Jews nor should they expose their children to any additional risks of intermarriage.

    Diaspora communities must uphold the Israeli ruling as a measure of self defense against a potential influx of Hebrew speaking Gentiles from Israel.

  2. In the first place I am not sure what you are speaking of since there are conversos from all over the world given that Sephardic Jews traveled the earth trading.The conversos have a right to come back to Judaism. But since the Ethiopians were brought to Israel there has been a difficult problem in Judaism. The Ethiopians when asked to convert called the state of Israel racist and whether their modern origins were Jewish is nebulous at best. They associated conversion with gentiles and conversion to be negative for their community. Even though their community read a "sacred" book in Amharic that I dare say the majority of rabbis could not translate and there was circumcision among the females.Circumcision of females is not a Jewish ritual and that should have sent chills down the spines of the whole Jewish world.They had holidays that had nothing to do with Judaism of the Torah.Somehow they did not know that Rut was a convert and that her grandson it was King David whose city they were brought to.Conversion was looked upon as negative among black Ethiopians and the essence of where they were coming and the holiness of the city of Jerusalem, how King David sacrificed was lost on them.

    Moving on to the particulars of the case, women are at a higher spiritual level than men because we bare children. Women are responsible for lighting Shabbat candles including praying for the temple to be rebuilt, taking of challah and keeping the mikvah.If they choose to pray beautiful!

    I have been reading that a convert wanted a divorced and was questioned about whether she was religious. I think that rabbis and Jewish men in general better need to start telling the truth about whether they are respecting their wives decisions to keep mikvah. I have worked in a referral agency for Jewish women where we frequently got calls of abuse from women who were even being raped in their marriages. If a woman is going to to keep mikvah her spouse must agree.I am trying to be delicate. If a man will not listen to your desire to keep the family pure what are you to do?

    Next issue, Judaism is a religious and not a race. There are too many Jews not raising their daughters to be religious . They run off to college fornicate, do everything imaginable thing and then seek marriage. Some of my own friends have entrapped men into marriage who later divorced them to marry converts. If you are not keeping the laws of G-D then you deserve the consequences. I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy of rabbis who will not even bother asking are you a virgin, do you light candles,take challah when dealing with women who want to be married.


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