Tagged Israel’s Chief Rabbinate

Why are there no women on the Chief Rabbinate’s ‘blacklist’?

The honorees from the first generation of Conservative women rabbis pose for a photo at the 2015 Conservative Rabbinical Assembly celebration of 30 years of women in the rabbinate. (Yossi Hoffman)

  NEW YORK (JTA) – The Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s so-called “blacklist” of Diaspora rabbis runs the denominational gamut. The rabbis on the list, whose letters confirming the Jewish identities of immigrants were rejected by the Chief Rabbinate in 2016, are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform — and even from the smaller… Read more »

These rabbis have no idea why they’re on the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s ‘blacklist’

Morris Allen, the rabbi of the Conservative Beth Jacob Congregation in Minnesota, believes he was included on the list because of his opposition to the Chief Rabbinate. (Courtesy of the Masorti Foundation)

NEW YORK (JTA) — In 2012, Rabbi Jason Herman wrote a letter to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate certifying that a friend of his who wished to get married was Jewish and single. The letter was declared invalid. But several months later Herman, spiritual leader of the Orthodox West Side Jewish… Read more »

Controversial Israeli conversion bill delayed for 6 months

Benjamin Netanyahu, center, arrives at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, June 25, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

  (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shelved a controversial bill that would have made the haredi Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate the only body authorized by the government to perform conversions in Israel. Netanyahu’s office announced Friday that the legislation will not be considered for six months while a “team” he will appoint… Read more »

Is she Jewish? Rabbinate says yes, Israel says no

TEL AVIV (JTA) — In 2012, Anna Varsanyi was married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony conducted through Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Two years later, the Hungarian immigrant has made a life in Israel, settling with her husband in the central city of Modiin and working a desk job in a… Read more »

Understanding Shmita, Israel’s agricultural Shabbat

A Thai worker picking decorative flower leaves on the Kibbutz Sde Nitzan flower farm, near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, July 20, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shmita, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel,… Read more »

In rural Uganda, small Jewish community splits over conversion

The central synagogue of the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda. Most of the 2000-member community is conservative, but a small faction has chosen to practice Orthodoxy. (Ben Sales)

NABUGOYE, Uganda (JTA) — On Fridays at sundown, the Jewish residents of this village set amid the lush hills of eastern Uganda gather in the synagogue to greet Shabbat. The room is bare, the light is dim and the Conservative prayer books are worn. But the spare surroundings do… Read more »

The RCA breaks its word on conversion

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Questions of personal status are among the most sensitive issues in Judaism and thus require responsible rabbinic leadership. That is one reason why there was such an outcry last year when Israel’s Chief Rabbinate refused to allow my teacher, Rabbi Avi Weiss, to vouch for the… Read more »