Conversion to Judaism

MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversions

Rotem determined to push bill, despite serious opposition from liberal Jews.

05/04/2010
Staff Writer

The author of a proposed Israeli conversion bill dismissed this week criticism of the legislation by non-Orthodox Jewish leaders here and said he is determined to see it enacted.

“I will have to think how to continue because the most important thing for me is how to solve the problem of the half-million new immigrants from Russia”  who wish to convert to  Judaism, Israeli Knesset member David Rotem told The Jewish Week Monday.

Israel Conversion Bill A Hard Sell To U.S. Jews

Legislation would end the Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel, but liberal leaders worry about Law of Return provision.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

The Israeli lawmaker who authored the proposed controversial conversion bill flew to New York this week to convince Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders to support it, promising to withdraw the bill if they do not.

“I want them to say we read the bill, we don’t love it but we accept it,” the Israeli Knesset member, David Rotem, told The Jewish Week.

Israel Beiteinu’s David Rotem. MICHAEL DATIKASH

RCA Finds Consensus For Deepening Women’s Roles

But many questions left unanswered.

04/27/2010
Editor and Publisher

After much debate and despite predictions of a schism, the Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest group of Orthodox rabbis, this week approved without dissent a carefully balanced resolution on women’s communal roles in Orthodox Jewish life.

The statement affirms a longstanding prohibition of women rabbis but allows congregational rabbis flexibility in determining appropriate roles for women in their synagogues and communities.

For German Converts, A New Home for the Soul

04/14/2009
Staff Writer

Trekking through ice-coated fields in a brutally cold Russian October, Lt. Arthur Wollschlaeger pressed on, as he and his swastika-emblazoned companions conquered the western Russian city of Orel — another victory for the unrelenting German Werhmacht infantry. He had earlier taken part in invasions of Poland, Holland and France — a World War II military career that began when he first entered the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland, in 1938.

Bernd Wollschlaeger, carrying the Torah, broke from his parents to become a Jew.
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