Last Thursday the High Court of Justice took another step toward weakening the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over Jewish expression. The court should be commended for doing so.
An expanded panel of justices ruled in an 8-1 decision that conversions to Judaism performed by rabbinical courts in Israel not aligned with the Chief Rabbinate must be recognized by the state. This means that non-Israeli nationals who convert in Israel in private rabbinical courts will be eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. Until now, only converts approved by the Chief Rabbinate could receive automatic citizenship.