conversion

New Book Frames Debate On Conversion

As Israel’s Rabbinate makes requirements ever stricter, historical analysis offers wider views.

01/24/2012
Editor And Publisher

The issue of who can become a Jew through conversion is controversial and critical to determining the essence of the Jewish character, and as timely as the current headlines from Jerusalem.

Gary Rosenblatt

Doctor, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs -- And The Chief Rabbinate

I haven’t forgotten my pledge to respond to Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s op-ed. And, of course, I still remember my earlier promise to post more articles and resources about “December Dilemma” — which from now on I’m thinking of referring to as DD or D&D. Or maybe I could call it the Kislev Konundrum, although all those K’s start sounding a bit Teutonic.

Ben Stiller's Bona Fides

I’ve been corrected by fellow blogger, Rabbi Jason Miller.

Turns out Ben Stiller was falsely playing the patrilineal card on “Saturday Night Live”: according to Wikipedia at least (sorry, I don’t have any connections with the Stiller family, so I can’t confirm at this moment) his mother, Anne Meara, converted to Judaism before he was born.

Who Could Have Known?: A Most Unlikely Simcha

07/21/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I officiated at a wedding not quite two weeks ago that, by all external criteria, looked much like many of the hundreds of weddings I’ve officiated at over the last thirty years.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Introducing Aleph (Alef?) Millepied-Portman

 First, a shameless celebrity tidbit to boost this blog's Google rankings: the inter-engaged Natalie Portman (fiance is ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied) has reportedly named her new son Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. No consensus yet on whether they're spelling it Aleph or Alef. But if the Portman-Millepied family’s next child is a girl, will she be named Beth?

Wait, You WANT to be Jewish?

05/26/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

In my third year of rabbinical school, I began a student pulpit in Florida. One part of my two-year experience there that will always stay with me involved my work with a prospective convert, Tammy. In the middle of my first year, she approached me to discuss the possibility of conversion to Judaism. She had read quite a bit about Judaism already, and she really felt that the Jewish community was her true home.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Who Is A Jew Crisis Moves Into Immigration Sphere

Interior Ministry now seen ceding control to Chief Rabbinate of Orthodox converts seeking to make aliyah.

02/11/2011
Israel Correspondent

 Jerusalem — Thomas Dohlan, who converted to Judaism in an Orthodox Canadian beit din, never anticipated that Israel’s Ministry of the Interior might question his Jewishness and block his bid to make aliyah.

But that’s exactly what’s happening, thanks to what appears to be a new policy that gives Israel’s Orthodox Chief Rabbinate, and not the Interior Ministry, the ultimate authority to decide which Orthodox converts are kosher enough for immigration purposes.

Gabrielle Giffords' Jewishness

01/13/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am a traditional Jew who subscribes to the traditional definition of Jewish identity (you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish or if you've converted). By this definition, Gabrielle Giffords is not Jewish. But by other definitions, including her own, she is. Given all she has done and what she has gone through, and given the strong possibility that her assailant attacked her in part because of her self-declared Jewish identity, what is the proper ethical response to all this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Could Latest Conversion Flap Bring Down Israel’s Government?

The Knesset’s passage today of a preliminary reading of a bill that affirms the legitimacy of conversions performed by rabbis of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) seems benign on the surface.

After all, the IDF rabbis are chosen by the Chief Rabbinate, and the vote was an overwhelming 74-18.

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