Knesset Member David Rotem says law
would apply only to Israeli conversions;
Reform and Conservative leaders not satisfied.
The author of Israel’s controversial conversion bill has for the first time suggested a change in the bill in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that any bill dealing with conversion “must ensure the unity of the Jewish people in its entirety.”
Update: the folks at Americans for Peace Now point out that I missed a key finding of the B'nai B'rith survey. APN spokesman Ori Nir, in a press release, points out that "a full 55 percent agreed" with the statement "A two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel's survival as a national home of the Jewish people as a vibrant democracy."
It is painful to see the hurt of my non-Orthodox friends as they react to the [Knesset conversion] bill proposed by Member of Knesset David Rotem (“MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversions,” May 7). I have a simple suggestion that may reduce these problems in the future.
With regard to Stewart Ain’s article (“MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversion,” May 7) and MK David Rotem’s assertion that “he denied promising to withdraw the [conversion] bill if he failed to win the support of ... leaders ... here,” I can tell you I was present at four of his meetings and he often made just such a statement. It was then generally followed by the comment he would tell the olim from the former Soviet Union to blame the Americans for the lack of progress.
Rotem determined to push bill, despite serious opposition from liberal Jews.
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.
Legislation would end the Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel, but liberal leaders worry about Law of Return provision.
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.