Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
Moshe Nissim

The state is preparing to petition the High Court of Justice and request a further postponement of the decision in the petition asking for recognition of Reform and Conservative conversions, until the forging of government policy on the subject is completed.

In about two weeks, the six-month “ceasefire” reached by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last June with the ultra-Orthodox coalition parties and with the Reform and Conservative petitioners will be over. During this period, work was suspended on both the non-Orthodox conversions and the Haredi parties’ law establishing the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly on conversions in Israel.

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Former Justice Minister Moshe Nissim, appointed by Netanyahu to formulate government policy on conversions, has held meetings in recent weeks with all the relevant bodies, but says he needs more time to formulate his recommendations to the government. Therefore, according to several media outlets citing sources involved in the matter, the State Prosecutor’s Office is expected to ask the High Court to postpone for another three to six months its ruling on the petition.

According to Israeli media, Nissim only began to work on his assignment in November. He told the Jerusalem Post on Monday: “I don’t think it will be possible to finish in the next two weeks. I’m meeting with lots of people, and I need to hear from everyone, and you can’t write a document in such a short amount of time.”

Despite grandiose claims by various pro-Reform and Conservative media about the enormous popularity of non-Orthodox Jewish movements in Israel, the definitive survey, issued in March 2016 by the Pew Research Center (Unlike US, few Jews in Israel identify as Reform or Conservative), asked Jews in Israel whether they identify with any of the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism, and got bubkas:

“In Israel, very few Jews identify with Conservative (2%) or Reform (3%) Judaism, while half (50%) identify with Orthodoxy – including many Jews who are not highly religiously observant but may still be most familiar with Orthodox Judaism. About four-in-ten Israeli Jews (41%) do not identify with any of these three streams or denominations of Judaism.”

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