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Official recognition continues to get more difficult for patrilineal Jews in Israel, as a state-funded religious academy has decided to halt sending conversion candidates to rabbinical courts until the chief rabbinate loosens its conversion requirements, says The Forward.
Recently, the chief rabbinate has been tightening its requirements for conversion. Within the last few months, the chief rabbinate moved to freeze all conversions from abroad until it could determine whether the converting rabbis met its strict standards. The Forward story relates tales of people who were told by rabbinical courts that they needed to move to Orthodox neighborhoods, send their children to Orthodox schools and have their whole family adopt an Orthodox lifestyle before the court would recognize their conversion.
“Either you are a Jew or you aren’t a Jew,” he told The Forward. “And if you don’t belief in Torah, then you are not a Jew.”
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