Following the retirement of Rabbi Haim Druckman from his position as head of Israel's Conversion Authority, all conversions awaiting final approval are backlogged due to the government's inability to find a consensus figure to replace Rabbi Druckman.
Conversions 'stuck' following Rabbi Druckman's retirement
Immigrants awaiting conversion certificates delayed over govenment's inability to find replacement for head of Conversion Authority
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
Following the retirement of Rabbi Haim Druckman from his position as head of the Conversion Authority in February, all of the conversions awaiting approval have yet to be signed due to the government's inability to find a consensus figure to direct the authority.
The certificates act as proof of Judaism and are given to those seeking to acquire Israeli citizenship.
Despite knowing that Rabbi Drukman's retirement was near, a replacement has not been appointed. Moreover, a committee to find suitable candidates for the position has yet to be formed.
Due to an absent authority figure leading the conversion process, many immigrants who have completed their conversion studies, have officially been circumcised by Jewish law and approved as Jews by rabbinical courts, are still not eligible for marriage or citizenship.
Rabbi Dr. Shaul Farber, founder of the "Itim Institute" (Resources and Advocacy for Jewish Life) said that the institute has received hundreds of calls from immigrants who were "stuck". He called upon any applicant going through the same situation to contact the institute.
"We don't want to see the immigrants dismissed and hurt just because the topic of conversion has lately been dismissed from the political agenda. These people are very vulnerable. We can't let them fall in between the cracks," Farber said.
"They have worked very hard and sometimes another delay in the conversion process can really stop their lives," he added.
The Prime Minister's Office told Ynet: "During the next few days a committee with the purpose of locating the new head of the Conversion Authority will be formed. Meanwhile, we are working with the conversion authority to assist all those awaiting conversion."