Director of IDI's Center for Religion, Nation and State on the Supreme Court Ruling on Non-Orthodox Conversions: "These conversions now have official recognition of what is perhaps the most important Israeli law: the Law of Return"
Dr. Shuki Friedman, Director of the Center for Religion, Nation and State at the Israel Democracy Institute on the Supreme Court ruling on Non-Orthodox (Reform, Conservative) conversions and the Law of Return:
“Even prior this ruling, non-Orthodox conversions conducted abroad were recognized in Israel for the purpose of the 'right of return.' Moreover, more than three years ago, the Court also recognized a private Orthodox conversion held in Israel for the purpose of the right of return. Although this ruling is a direct continuation of previous Court decisions, the justices in this case, have exercised great restraint. For fifteen years the Court waited for the word of the legislature. During this time, it almost begged the multiple Knessets, to determine what constitutes a valid conversion is in Israel. Knessets were convened and dispersed, committees were appointed and had their say, but nothing happened.
Desperate for the legislators, and wanting to help petitioners who have suffered for far too long, the Court had its say today.
In doing so, the Court effectively completed the arrangement for the recognition of conversions, all based on previous court rulings, and from now on all conversion routes accepted by the Jewish people, when conducted in Israel, also have official recognition of what is perhaps the most important Israeli law: the Law of Return.”