Israel high court orders state funding for non-Orthodox conversion classes

[JURIST] The Israeli High Court of Justice [official website] on Tuesday ordered the government to fund non-Orthodox conversion institutions. The decision, handed down by a three-judge panel, breaks the monopoly [Jerusalem Post report] that Orthodox conversion institutions hold over public conversion funding. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism [advocacy website] applauded the decision [press release], with Associate Director Mark Pelavin saying is, "ends one of the longstanding manifestations of government discrimination against non-Orthodox Judaism." The Israeli Religious Action Center [advocacy website] also expressed hope [press release] that the verdict would, "lead to a change in government policy and put an end to the exclusion of the Reform movement by the State."

While Tuesday's decision allots equal funding for orthodox and non-Orthodox conversion institutes, non-Orthodox converts still face difficulties [ADL backgrounder] integrating into Israeli society. In Israel, Orthodox conversion is the officially recognized conversion of the government [official website], and it is believed that many non-Orthodox converts to Judaism are not recognized as Jewish by religious law [Haaretz report].

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.