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Jewish Agency plans fast-track conversion for immigrants

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  • ummyakoub
    Check the following article: Now it is not a bout being a Jew , being white is good enough! I assume that the next stage will be a fast- track converting
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2003
      Check the following article:

      Now it is not a bout being a 'Jew', being 'white' is good enough!

      I assume that the next stage will be a fast- track converting those
      miserable east Europeans into settlers. It is very simple: It takes
      4 days of Jewish religious education (mainly violent religious laws:
      eye for eye etc,) and 2 then two hours of training with Uzi


      Jewish Agency plans fast-track conversion for immigrants from CIS

      By Amiram Barkat

      The Jewish Agency is readying a quick conversion course for non-
      Jewish immigrants from the Commonwealth of Independent States.

      According to the plan, dubbed Mt. Sinai, a special camp will be
      opened in an East European country, where immigrants on their way to
      Israel would spend four weeks in an intensive course that would
      climax in a conversion by Orthodox rabbis from Israeli rabbinical

      Special panels of rabbis will be flown to the camps from Israel.
      The four-week course would be much speedier than the six months or
      more it takes to convert in Israel. Several well-known rabbis in the
      Orthodox establishment have agreed in principle to take part. At this
      stage, the program is planned for 150-200 new immigrants, but if the
      plan works, agency officials believe thousands could be converted in
      the program.

      Opening the quick conversion route is a dramatic step for the
      agency, and is meant to help new immigrants bypass the bottleneck in
      the rabbinical courts in Israel. Despite mounting public pressure,
      the rabbinical courts refuse to change their policies and only
      convert a few hundred people a year from the former Soviet Union. The
      special seminar for conversions, based on recommendations by a
      commission headed by attorney Yaakov Neeman, has not made a dramatic
      change in those numbers, despite its original promise to do

      Estimates put the number of non-Jewish immigrants in Israel at
      some 250,000 to 300,000, and agency activists call it a "ticking
      social bomb."

      Three key people are behind the plan. Sallai Meridor, the agency
      chairman, decided to "break the rules" with the rabbinical courts,
      accusing them of "an inhumane attitude" toward immigrants and
      conducting a policy "against the national interests of the state."

      The plan's second key personage is Prime Minster Ariel Sharon,
      who declared last week to the agency's board of governors that he
      regards finding a solution to the conversion problem as a top
      priority. "Meridor would not have set the plan in motion without
      backing from the prime minister," said a source knowledgeable about
      the program.

      The third person is Neeman. The board of governors has named a
      committee, which he will head, to examine the conversion issue and
      its possible solutions. There is also no doubt that the appointment
      of Shinui's Avraham Poraz as interior minister will greatly smooth
      the way for the program, compared to his predecessor, Eli Yishai of

      The decision to conduct the conversions in an Eastern European
      country rather than in Russia or another of the CIS countries was
      made to avoid suspicions in those countries the agency was
      encouraging citizens of those states to emigrate to Israel. Although
      theoretically it would be possible to convert immigrants already in
      Israel, by way of the same program, there are no plans yet to do so,
      to avoid a direct clash with the rabbinical courts.

      In the 1970s, during the first wave of Soviet immigrants, a
      similar plan was tried, using Israeli rabbis overseas to convert new
      immigrants. But that program was only partially successful, because
      many of the rabbis involved were not considered authoritative enough
      for the Orthodox establishment in Israel so they did not recognize
      many of the conversions. To avoid that eventuality, this time the
      agency decided to work with rabbis whose authority is unassailable
      and the agency is keeping their identities secret for now, to prevent
      the chief rabbinate from applying pressure on them.

      Agency spokesman Ephraim Lapid said the agency regards the issue
      of conversion as "highly important. The board of governors, which
      convened last week in Jerusalem, decided to advance the subject with
      the government and to appoint a committee headed by Prof. Neeman to
      recommend ways to improve the conversion process." Neeman's office
      had no comment.




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