Why Be Jewish?: A Testament
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Discussions First on Israel Conversion Bill
Mon, 05/24/2010 - 20:00

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.

Instead of making public proposed legislation in Israel that has the possibility of impacting Jews outside Israel, and then asking for their comments, why not have ongoing discussions with interested parties in the U.S. as the bill goes through the legislative process in Israel and before it is made public? It is so much more difficult to change language that has already seen the light of day and that incorporates promises made to parties in the Knesset to seek their support. I am sure that dialogue that takes place as a bill is evolving will improve the likelihood that both sides understand each other’s concerns.

Co-Chair, Five Synagogues of White Plains
Israel Action Committee

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