The process of conversion is one that is complex. One organization attempting to assist has been informed by the government that there is no budget this year.
You may not hear much about this in the media and you definitely won’t hear this issue being discussed by many politicians, but the current crisis that the conversion process finds itself in, is one that has serious ramifications for the image, identity and future of Israeli society.
In Israel there are more than 400,000 citizens who are connected to Judaism with every fiber of their soul, serving in the army and on reserve duty, studying and working. These citizens are an inseparable part of our society, but their Judaism is unknown. Many of them, who already wish to undergo the complex process of conversion, often encounter walls of bureaucracy and simply raise their hands, because of the complex process.
It is important to understand that this has long been not just a halachic issue (Jewish legal), but a major social-national issue that will affect their status, their future, the of their children, and our identity as a society.
The courses of Nativ – Israel’s largest and most important training program for conversion – are at risk of closure. Why?
The Government has not transferred the minimal amount of money required for the organization to continue to function. This organization is so important as it facilitates the complex process of conversion for many people, here in Israel. Closing or damaging this organization will be devastating for many generations to come and will harm thousands of students of conversion, citizens and soldiers.
20 million shekels is incomparable to the budgets that the government has provided for elsewhere. This is an absolute disgrace and attests to a complete distortion of priorities. MK Lavie visited the Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry of Finance to find an immediate solution to this crisis. MK Lavie demanded that the Knesset convene to discuss this matter in the coming week.
In the picture: The sweet Rambam (yes, that’s his name) who completed a conversion process about two months ago and is grateful to join the Jewish people. He was very moved to attend a conference we held this week in the Knesset with MK Yehuda Glick and Nemanei Torah V’Avodah – The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), provided certificates of appreciation for the process of conversion.