who is a Jew

Israel Prize-Winner Disparages Liberal Rabbis

In wake of Israel’s recognition of Reform and Conservative rabbis, Rabbi Chaim Druckman gives them the back of his hand. Exclusive Jewish Week interview.

06/05/2012
Staff Writer

Rabbi Chaim Druckman, this year’s winner of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the country’s highest honor, raised some eyebrows this week with his dismissal of the Israeli government’s decision last week to, for the first time, recognize Conservative and Reform rabbis.

The move, by Israel’s attorney general, not only recognizes them as rabbis but also pays 16 of them who work in rural settings.

Rabbi Chaim Druckman: Says Reform and Conservative rabbis "are not rabbis."

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.

Gabby Giffords And Other "Illegal Alien" Jews

I apologize for being such a delinquent blogger this past week. Part of it was being distracted by my reporting responsibilities (see my recent article on new Hebrew charter schools if you don’t believe me!)

But also I’ve been struck with something of a blogger’s block trying to decide whether and how to respond to my colleague Jonathan Mark’s “No, Not Everyone is Jewish Enough” post.

The Mikveh Demystified

I'm a guest blogger today at Mayyim Hayyim, the innovative community mikveh in Boston founded (in part) by Anita Diamant, the author of "The Red Tent," "How to Raise a Jewish Child" and many other works of fiction and nonfiction. Here's my post:

Why Israel's Conversion Bill Is Bad For The Jewish People

09/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Over the last number of weeks, people with good intentions, and some with not such good intentions, have written and dealt extensively with the proposed Conversion Bill in Israel. I read what they are writing and wonder: do they really understand the Bill?

Following is an explanation, framed in a Question and Answer format. 

What is the problem the bill purports to solve?

Kosher Pigs And Jewish Privilege

 So, while I was gallivanting about Ann Arbor and Pittsburgh (with a very brief, rainy pit stop in Oberlin, Ohio), my intermarried pals Paul Golin and Laurel Snyder were busily advancing The Cause.

"Off the Mark" on Rotem Conversion Bill

08/11/2010

Gary Rosenblatt does not hesitate to tackle difficult matters, but his latest column about the Rotem Conversion Bill is off the mark.

For more than 15 years, as well as in our several meetings with MK David Rotem, we have emphasized our strong desire to address the issue of the status of olim from the former Soviet Union. There are multiple ways in which the situation could be meaningfully addressed.

On Rotem Conversion Bill, Focus Should Be On Israel

Conversions of Russians trump concern over Chief Rabbinate hegemony.

08/04/2010
Editor And Publisher

 I’m having second — and third — thoughts about the wisdom of rejecting outright the controversial conversion bill in Israel.

Before you get too worked up about that statement, please hear me out.

Gary Rosenblatt

Netanyahu Tells Cabinet He Opposes Rotem Conversion Bill

07/18/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes a proposed conversion bill, which "could tear apart the Jewish people."

Netanyahu made the comments Sunday at the regular Cabinet meeting.

The bill, which has been roundly condemned by the Reform and Conservative movements in the United States, Israel and in other countries in the Diaspora because it centralizes conversion in the hands of the Orthodox Rabbinate, could come up for a first reading this week.

The conversion bill now before Knesset will:

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