All African Refugees Requests To Convert To Judaism Have Been Denied
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
All requests from African refugees and “illegal” migrants from Africa to convert to Judaism in Israel have been rejected over the past year, Ha’aretz is reporting based on an anonymous source in the Prime Minister's Office.
The source told Ha’aretz that “many dozens” of these requests were denied.
"Dozens of Africans come straight to our offices in Tel Aviv, try to convince us to allow them to submit a request that would be examined by an exceptions committee. Of course, all the requests were rejected,”an official working in the Prime Minister’s Office told Ha’aretz durning the PMO’s conversion department's annual convention held last week in Jerusalem. It was attended by rabbis, rabbinic judges and conversion advocates.
The statistics presented indicate that the rate of conversions to Judaism is falling.
Rabbi Seth Farber, a Modern Orthodox rabbi who helps people deal with Israel’s notoriously obtuse state-funded haredi-controlled rabbinic system told Ha’aretz that the problem is the exceptions committee, which is non-functional, he said. And the potential converts are mostly non-Jewish partners of Israelis – and very few of those are African refugees.
"They go to the state system for conversion, but the exceptions committee doesn't let them begin the process and drags it on for years," Farber said. "The reason is that the committee's criteria have become tougher, but primarily that it's just not functioning. It's easier for the conversion department to put out rumors about migrants who want to start the process, as though the main problem facing conversion in Israel is Africans [when that clearly is not the case].”
Earlier today Israel deported 127 South Sudanese refugees who “voluntarily’ agreed to deportation in exchange for small cash payments. The refugees were given the choice of deportation or indeterminate prison sentences that could have lasted years.
[Hat Tip: Jeff.]