[T]here is yet another type of visa – a student visa – that requires the same proof as eligibility for Aliyah. If one wishes to study at a non-degree granting institution (e.g. The Conservative Yeshiva, Machon Pardes) one must come into the country (this depends on your country of origin) with a student visa obtained in advance. The stringent, too often off-the-wall, demands for documentation have turned the proof of eligibility under the LOR to frustration and disappointment for so many. […]
It is not only right, but it is proper, that the Interior Ministry have realistic criteria for those seeking to come to Israel. But this ministry should not stand in front of iron gates keeping out all who have not met their subjective standard of exactly what constitutes this proof. And must the proof really be identical for requesting a student visa as to what is demanded for one who wishes to make Aliyah? In one case a person is requesting citizenship while in the other simply to study in Israel. I think there is a bit more room for leniency regarding a student visa.
Let me be clear about something. Anybody can claim to be a Jew. Anyone may claim to be a rabbi. Anyone can mock up a certificate of conversion to Judaism. There is a need for vigilance. But, in the end, we are speaking about a student visa.