… With each passing day, the Israeli government and the religious authorities continue to drive a wedge between Diaspora Jews and our homeland. The conversions that we officiate, as well as those overseen by thousands of our colleagues, are not deemed legitimate in the eyes of the Israeli government. In July, the Rabbanut released a list of 160 Conservative, Reform and even Orthodox rabbis whose certifications attesting to immigrants’ Jewish identities were rejected the previous year. Immigrants need those certifications to be married in Israel.
Just last week, the Sephardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem and a former chief rabbi of Israel, Shlomo Amar, said that Reform Jews deny Judaism “more than Holocaust deniers.” This insult to the level of one’s faith and Jewish identification does nothing but divide a community that is dependent on unity.
We ask world Jewry to stand united for religious pluralism. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and secular Jews alike deserve the same religious rights under Israeli law. If Israel will not offer those protections, where does that leave Diaspora Jewry’s relationship with our homeland?