Court: Justify conversion annulments
By JPOST.COM STAFF
The High Court of Justice on Monday issued a suspended injunction to the Rabbinic Court ordering it to explain within 90 days why it nullified the conversions made by special courts headed by former National Conversion Authority chief Rabbi Haim Druckman and how it the authority to do so.
The ruling came in response to a petition filed jointly by the Center for Justice for Women, other organizations and two women whose conversions were invalidated.
In addition, the High Court extended the temporary injunction so that the appellants - whose Judaism was cast into doubt by the Rabbinic Court - could be removed from its list of people forbidden from marrying until a ruling is made on the matter.
The petitioners asked the High Court to obligate the country's rabbinic courts to recognize every conversion registered by the National Conversion Authority and by the Interior Ministry, and to instruct the rabbinic registry office to marry all converts who appear before them without raising doubts about their conversions or declaring them as forbidden for marriage.
The call to cancel the conversions was made by Dayan (religious court judge) Avraham Attia, a member of the Ashdod District Rabbinical Court, and was upheld in a ruling by Dayan Avraham Sherman of the Supreme Rabbinical Court in February 2008.
The ruling stemmed from a specific case in which the Ashdod court retroactively annulled a woman's conversion that was performed by Druckman 17 years ago.
The decision to annul the conversion was made after it became known that she never adhered to Orthodox Jewish practice after her conversion. As a result, the Jewish status of the woman's four children was annulled.
The woman and her children are still registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry and the Rabbinic Court has no authority to change this, but its refusal to marry them or recognize them as Jews has rendered their conversions almost meaningless, as it has for thousands of other converts.
[Hat Tips: Michelle, The Other DK.]