As the only Jewish state in the world, Israel has a vested interest in encouraging the flourishing of all forms of Jewish expression, whether Orthodox or non-Orthodox. And the best way to do that is to create an atmosphere of freedom of expression in which no single stream of Judaism can exploit the powers of the state to force upon Israelis one version of Judaism.

Instead, a free market of Jewish ideas and spirituality must be fostered in which all streams of Judaism are accorded respect and given an even playing field on which to compete with others. In such an environment Israelis will not feel they are victims of religious coercion but rather that they are being challenged to express their Jewishness in new and more relevant ways.

Ultimately, matters of faith are intimate and private.

The state has no business lending its power to any single religious group or individual.

So while we welcome Yosef’s promise to make the recognition process for conversions performed abroad by Orthodox rabbis more transparent, the real change will come when the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly on Judaism ceases to exist.