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Jerusalem - Israeli Jews At Odds With Liberal Brethren In U.S.

Published on: October 31, 2010 01:01 PM
By: AP
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In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010, Hillary Rubin poses for a photograph in her home in Herzeliya, Israel. When Hillary Rubin immigrated from the U.S. to Israel, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and descendant of a famed Zionist visionary felt that she had finally arrived in her true home. But now that religious authorities are questioning the 29-year-old Michigan native's Jewish pedigree and refusing to recognize her marriage, she's having second thoughts. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010, Hillary Rubin poses for a photograph in her home in Herzeliya, Israel. When Hillary Rubin immigrated from the U.S. to Israel, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and descendant of a famed Zionist visionary felt that she had finally arrived in her true home. But now that religious authorities are questioning the 29-year-old Michigan native's Jewish pedigree and refusing to recognize her marriage, she's having second thoughts. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Jerusalem - When Hillary Rubin immigrated from the U.S. to Israel, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and descendant of a famed Zionist visionary felt that she had finally arrived in her true home.

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But now that religious authorities are questioning the 29-year-old Michigan native’s Jewish pedigree and refusing to recognize her marriage, she’s having second thoughts.

Rubin is at the center of a deepening rift between the world’s two biggest Jewish communities — the American and Israeli. Religious life in Israel is dominated by the strict ultra-Orthodox establishment, which has growing political power and has become increasingly resistant to any inroads by the more liberal movements that predominate among American Jews.

Many Americans — whose faith is seen by the ultra-Orthodox as blurred by intermarriage and fading adherence to tradition — are feeling rejected and unwelcome.

“I feel like I am caught in the middle of these two worlds,” said Rubin, who was raised in a liberal Jewish home in a Detroit suburb. “On the one hand I’m far too traditional for American society. On the flip side, I am not religious enough for the rabbinate in Israel.”

It’s a far cry from the days when American Jews looked to Israel as a source of pride and inspiration and Israel could rely on America’s Jews as a source of unconditional moral support and fundraising. With ultra-Orthodox Jews the fastest growing sector in Israel, often holding the balance of power in coalition governments, open strains between the communities are now far more common.

Over the summer, a proposed law that would have consecrated the Orthodox monopoly over conversion in Israel caused an uproar among Diaspora Jews. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to shelve the bill in hopes of finding a compromise.

Last week, American and Israeli Jewish leaders held a conference in Jerusalem aiming at ironing out their differences. But the closed-door sessions were tense and all sides stuck to their positions, said one participant, American Rabbi Jerome Epstein, of the Conservative movement.

He warned that the conflict could “tear the people apart” if no compromise is found.

“There are a lot of Americans who normally would not get involved in Israeli politics but who are saying, ‘What you are doing is delegitimizing me. It is not enough to want my support and want my money, you have to be willing to recognize me as a human being and as a Jew,’ and they feel that is not happening,” he said.

The two communities are at odds over everything from religious rituals to gender roles. But the issues of marriage and conversion most concretely raise concern among American Jews that they are judged as not Jewish enough for Israel.

The more liberal Reform and Conservative movements, which dominate American Jewish life, are more inclusive toward converts and inter-faith marriages. More than half of American Jews marry outside the faith.

Chelsea Clinton’s marriage last summer to Marc Mezvinsky, who is Jewish, showed just how well assimilated U.S. Jews have become. Many American Jews were quietly proud of their homegrown son, who, in a skullcap and prayer shawl, wed the former First Daughter in a ceremony performed by a Reform Rabbi and a Protestant minister.

But to many in Israel, Mezvinsky seemed to break more than a glass at the wedding. The inter-faith ceremony — held on the Sabbath in violation of Jewish law, to boot — encapsulated fears that assimilation is emptying the religion of content and devastating its numbers.

In Israel, despite its secular majority, ultra-Orthodox rabbis strictly govern Jewish practices such as weddings, burials or conversions and only allow them for those who meet Orthodox definitions of a Jew. Israel grants citizenship to any Jew — Reform, Conservative or Orthodox — but once in Israel, many who consider themselves Jewish cannot get married or have a Jewish burial.

Rubin’s story shows just how deep the gulf has become.

When she went to the Orthodox rabbinate to register for a marriage certificate, the authorities wouldn’t accept the documents she produced or the assurances of her American rabbi that she was indeed Jewish, despite her famous lineage.

The government only recognizes Orthodox marriage and Israel has no civil marriage. So after holding an informal ceremony with a Conservative rabbi, Rubin and her fiance — who is also Jewish — were forced to officially tie the knot in nearby Cyprus to be recognized as married in Israel.

“It terrifies me that this is the direction we are going. This is not a democratic Jewish state. It is becoming a tyrannical Jewish state,” said Rubin, whose great-uncle was Nahum Sokolow, one of the pioneers of early 20th century Zionism.

Seth Farber, an Orthodox rabbi and director of a group that helps Israelis navigate the rabbinical bureaucracy, said the threshold for proving one’s Judaism has risen alongside the rise in ultra-Orthodox power.

“The biggest danger is that the Israeli body politic will allow the Jewish people to be disenfranchised by giving the ultra-Orthodox all the keys to Jewish identity,” he said.

The majority of Israelis appear at odds with their religious authorities.

According to a recent survey conducted for Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, 63 percent of Israelis believe those converted by non-Orthodox rabbis should be regarded as Jews. The Shiluv pollster questioned a random selection of 507 Israelis and gave a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

But Moshe Gafni, an ultra-Orthodox lawmaker whose party is a key coalition member in Netanyahu’s government, vows that Israel will not allow what he calls Chelsea Clinton-like weddings and “make-it-up-as-you-go” Judaism.

“We are not saying that someone who is Reform or Conservative is not Jewish. But they can’t change the order of things here in Israel,” he said. “The average Israeli wants the country to abide by the Jewish tradition ... You can’t take the things most sacred to us and tear them to shreds.”


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1

 Oct 31, 2010 at 01:27 PM PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

Well wouldn't it seem that Zionism's a good thing? Contrary to Satmar's belief that it's the root of all evil? Jewish numbers in America are declining, while in Israel they're flourishing.

2

 Oct 31, 2010 at 01:30 PM bigwheeel Says:

In all of this chatter, Ms. Hillary Rubin does not say why the Rabbinate office did not accept her "Documentation" stating that she is Jewish. If someone has contiguous Jewish lineage, there is no reason for them to be barred from getting a Marriage certificate, regardless of their religious affiliation. What the Israeli Rabbinate does not recognize is Conversion documents by the Conservative and Reform movements.

3

 Oct 31, 2010 at 01:39 PM Babishka Says:

I grew up in a Reform family (not too far from where this young woman was raised), had no religious relatives, my family was secular for four generations. And yet, my wedding was officiated by an official of the Eda Haredis. I didn't have to produce any documents going back four generations either, they just took my word that I was Jewish and everyone in my family was Jewish. So what is the difference between me and this young lady who is crying so loudly about her damaged yichus?

4

 Oct 31, 2010 at 01:44 PM anonymousagain Says:

Reply to #2  
bigwheeel Says:

In all of this chatter, Ms. Hillary Rubin does not say why the Rabbinate office did not accept her "Documentation" stating that she is Jewish. If someone has contiguous Jewish lineage, there is no reason for them to be barred from getting a Marriage certificate, regardless of their religious affiliation. What the Israeli Rabbinate does not recognize is Conversion documents by the Conservative and Reform movements.

My guess would be that her Jewish ancestors are on her father's side.

5

 Oct 31, 2010 at 01:58 PM Anonymous Says:

The headline alone is a shayle! By now lots of our Liberal Brethren are not our brethren!!!!!!

6

 Oct 31, 2010 at 02:18 PM Authentic Says:

Since Judiasem is a religion and Israel's claim for existence is that it's a Jewish homeland and a Jewish state, there is no room for the American model of liberal democracy where everythig goes. Americans must realize that a Jewish state has to be defined by Judiasem- not some new made up twisted, liberal, wanna-be-a-goy, progressive "Judiasem".

7

 Oct 31, 2010 at 02:22 PM ProminantLawyer Says:

"Many American Jews were quietly proud of their homegrown son, who, in a skullcap and prayer shawl, wed the former First Daughter in a ceremony performed by a Reform Rabbi and a Protestant minister"

I was not proud of the guy who married the shicksa or into the family of her moma...and i am not proud of obama or his moma.

8

 Oct 31, 2010 at 02:35 PM Paskunyak Says:

"American Rabbi Jerome Epstein, of the Conservative movement.... warned that the conflict could “tear the people apart” if no compromise is found."

Answer: Tear the deviant practices out. They have little or nothing to do with Judaism. They are man-made (up). Note that I condemn the "deviant practices" of these phony groups whose leaders fool their congregants into believing that they are practicing Judaism when in fact, they are not. The poor followers of these dorks must be shown what "Real Judaism" is. We have a responsibility to invite these "wandering Jews" into our homes and educate them. They will make their own decision once they know what Judaism is really about.

“There are a lot of Americans who normally would not get involved in Israeli politics but who are saying, ‘What you are doing is delegitimizing me. It is not enough to want my support and want my money, you have to be willing to recognize me as a human being and as a Jew,’ and they feel that is not happening,” Epstein said.

The leadership of phony deviant versions of Judaism are trying to deflect criticism against them as criticism against Jews. No, they're Jews but you practice voodoo.

9

 Oct 31, 2010 at 02:49 PM Paskunyak Says:

According to a recent survey conducted for Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, 63 percent of Israelis believe those converted by non-Orthodox rabbis should be regarded as Jews. The Shiluv pollster questioned a random selection of 507 Israelis and gave a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Take a poll in left-wing East Los Angeles, California of 507 'residents' and you will probably find that 90% (or better) believe that illegal aliens from Mexico should be 'handed' U.S. Citizenship and all the benefits that comes with being a U.S. Citizen because California is really a part of Mehico.

You can get whatever conclusions you want from a poll if you ask the questions 'correctly'.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "non-Orthodox rabbi"! You are either a rabbi or your not. If you don't believe that Hashem gave us the Torah how can you emulate Moshe Rabeinu? These phony reformers should call themselves 'rabbits' or 'rabbettes' for their female phony leaders.

10

 Oct 31, 2010 at 03:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Paskunyak Says:

"American Rabbi Jerome Epstein, of the Conservative movement.... warned that the conflict could “tear the people apart” if no compromise is found."

Answer: Tear the deviant practices out. They have little or nothing to do with Judaism. They are man-made (up). Note that I condemn the "deviant practices" of these phony groups whose leaders fool their congregants into believing that they are practicing Judaism when in fact, they are not. The poor followers of these dorks must be shown what "Real Judaism" is. We have a responsibility to invite these "wandering Jews" into our homes and educate them. They will make their own decision once they know what Judaism is really about.

“There are a lot of Americans who normally would not get involved in Israeli politics but who are saying, ‘What you are doing is delegitimizing me. It is not enough to want my support and want my money, you have to be willing to recognize me as a human being and as a Jew,’ and they feel that is not happening,” Epstein said.

The leadership of phony deviant versions of Judaism are trying to deflect criticism against them as criticism against Jews. No, they're Jews but you practice voodoo.

What does your idiotic rant have to do with the topic at hand? Nowhere in the article does it say that there are converts in this lady's family. Exactly how is someone supposed to prove that they are Jewish anyway? You can have certificate from a mohel saying a bris was performed, you may have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificate, but none of them really prove that you are Jewish. When I got married almost 50 years ago, the rabbi that married us asked (before the wedding) "are your parents both Jewish?" Both of us answered yes and he asked us to prove it. The only thing I could say was that I was raised Jewish and had always been told that I was Jewish. But really that isn't proof at all. What is a person supposed to do?

11

 Oct 31, 2010 at 03:42 PM hmmmm Says:

Reply to #9  
Paskunyak Says:

According to a recent survey conducted for Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, 63 percent of Israelis believe those converted by non-Orthodox rabbis should be regarded as Jews. The Shiluv pollster questioned a random selection of 507 Israelis and gave a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Take a poll in left-wing East Los Angeles, California of 507 'residents' and you will probably find that 90% (or better) believe that illegal aliens from Mexico should be 'handed' U.S. Citizenship and all the benefits that comes with being a U.S. Citizen because California is really a part of Mehico.

You can get whatever conclusions you want from a poll if you ask the questions 'correctly'.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "non-Orthodox rabbi"! You are either a rabbi or your not. If you don't believe that Hashem gave us the Torah how can you emulate Moshe Rabeinu? These phony reformers should call themselves 'rabbits' or 'rabbettes' for their female phony leaders.

Also to # 8. To the point and with eloquence. We need some more intelligent writers to open up the shallow minds of our lost brethren!

12

 Oct 31, 2010 at 03:52 PM Paskunyak Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

What does your idiotic rant have to do with the topic at hand? Nowhere in the article does it say that there are converts in this lady's family. Exactly how is someone supposed to prove that they are Jewish anyway? You can have certificate from a mohel saying a bris was performed, you may have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificate, but none of them really prove that you are Jewish. When I got married almost 50 years ago, the rabbi that married us asked (before the wedding) "are your parents both Jewish?" Both of us answered yes and he asked us to prove it. The only thing I could say was that I was raised Jewish and had always been told that I was Jewish. But really that isn't proof at all. What is a person supposed to do?

Nowhere in the article do I even mention "converts". ???????

13

 Oct 31, 2010 at 06:07 PM Anonymous Says:

I am wondering why the Rabbinut refuse to marry her. Has she been married before and does not have a get?? I don't think she is saying everybody just the negative against the rabbinut. The reform and conservative in America are fighting against the orthodox because if they are not accept in Eretz Yisrael as Jews the valve of the leaders goes down and so does their pockets

14

 Oct 31, 2010 at 06:13 PM blahblah Says:

Reply to #2  
bigwheeel Says:

In all of this chatter, Ms. Hillary Rubin does not say why the Rabbinate office did not accept her "Documentation" stating that she is Jewish. If someone has contiguous Jewish lineage, there is no reason for them to be barred from getting a Marriage certificate, regardless of their religious affiliation. What the Israeli Rabbinate does not recognize is Conversion documents by the Conservative and Reform movements.

The Hillary Rubin case has been going on for a while. The issue is that she can't produce a ketuba from her maternal grandparents- it was destroyed in the Holocaust- and her parents do not have a ketuba, and the approbation of her Conservative rabbi isn't enough.

15

 Oct 31, 2010 at 07:05 PM Babishka Says:

Reply to #14  
blahblah Says:

The Hillary Rubin case has been going on for a while. The issue is that she can't produce a ketuba from her maternal grandparents- it was destroyed in the Holocaust- and her parents do not have a ketuba, and the approbation of her Conservative rabbi isn't enough.

There has to be something more than not having a ketubah from her grandparents. I did not have to provide these documents and my wedding was officiated by the Eda Haredis!

16

 Oct 31, 2010 at 07:56 PM bubii Says:

i have a good suggesstion we should all take a dna test today it is possible to conclussively know from a dna test if we are jewish or not since there are haplogroups in which jews belong to exclusively

17

 Oct 31, 2010 at 09:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8 and #9

I'm not sure why you have such hatred and contempt for other yidden who may not share your views on geyrus, semicha or anything else. You motivate lots of us to daven for achdus within klal yisroel and for the ebeshter to rid us of paskunyaks like you who are the biggest impediment to zman moisiach.

18

 Oct 31, 2010 at 10:11 PM Paskunyak Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8 and #9

I'm not sure why you have such hatred and contempt for other yidden who may not share your views on geyrus, semicha or anything else. You motivate lots of us to daven for achdus within klal yisroel and for the ebeshter to rid us of paskunyaks like you who are the biggest impediment to zman moisiach.

# 17-Your comprehension skills are lacking. I never indicated that I hate any yidden except those that deceive others with deviant practices and ideas and call it Judaism.

I truly love all Yidden even the ones who are misinformed and misguided by the phony Reform and Conservative leaders who "hijacked" Judaism.

But I am glad that I motivated "lots of you" to daven for achdus within klal Yisroel. That warms my heart.

19

 Oct 31, 2010 at 10:22 PM takingaim Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

What does your idiotic rant have to do with the topic at hand? Nowhere in the article does it say that there are converts in this lady's family. Exactly how is someone supposed to prove that they are Jewish anyway? You can have certificate from a mohel saying a bris was performed, you may have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificate, but none of them really prove that you are Jewish. When I got married almost 50 years ago, the rabbi that married us asked (before the wedding) "are your parents both Jewish?" Both of us answered yes and he asked us to prove it. The only thing I could say was that I was raised Jewish and had always been told that I was Jewish. But really that isn't proof at all. What is a person supposed to do?

So, you say you wed 50 years ago. I assume you were at least 18 at the time which would make you now at least 68. So tell me, when brings a 68 year old man to use such fierce language. How does a man who has lived the better part of his life tarnish his many years on this earth by writing something such as "your idiotic rant" ? And another thing, although I respect that you are older then I am and have decades of experience that I do not, tell me why did you feel the need to write "when I got married 50 years ago"? My friend, back then things were simpler. You didn't have the deceit you have today. That's why your rabbi simply ask if you and your soon to be bride were jewish. In those days it was that simple. Today however it is not.

20

 Oct 31, 2010 at 11:15 PM shvigger Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

What does your idiotic rant have to do with the topic at hand? Nowhere in the article does it say that there are converts in this lady's family. Exactly how is someone supposed to prove that they are Jewish anyway? You can have certificate from a mohel saying a bris was performed, you may have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificate, but none of them really prove that you are Jewish. When I got married almost 50 years ago, the rabbi that married us asked (before the wedding) "are your parents both Jewish?" Both of us answered yes and he asked us to prove it. The only thing I could say was that I was raised Jewish and had always been told that I was Jewish. But really that isn't proof at all. What is a person supposed to do?

What is one supposed to do is a good question. As a result of the fraudulent reform/conservative movements (which are really the same thing) we've reached the point where a generation of Jews are not accepted as Jewish because they cannot prove it. The best thing for them to do is to return to Torah and halacha and go through a halacha'dik conversion, just in case they aren't Jewish.

21

 Nov 01, 2010 at 02:31 AM yaakov321 Says:

Torah Judaism is liberal. After all, leaving Egypt was a liberal idea. The conservatives stayed around. That said, reform and conservative are not Liberal. They are Permissive. They stand to defy the identity that Jews have long had in our true practices and ideas. Liberalism is a way that society can move foward in progress and rightousness. Permissivism is the way that society lets "Anything go" and does what it does just so that people can get more gold and can make a more "silly easy to deal with" lifestyle for their own choosing. Why do jews refuse to wear beards and peyos? Becuase they think they can get more gold. Simply said, Torah Judaism is the core of our beliefs. Keep our faith and you will be rewarded. Perhaps there wont be gold at the end of the rainbow, but the monetary value of your thoughts and deeds far outweighs any gold supplement to your name.

22

 Nov 01, 2010 at 05:28 AM wondering Says:

Reply to #15  
Babishka Says:

There has to be something more than not having a ketubah from her grandparents. I did not have to provide these documents and my wedding was officiated by the Eda Haredis!

and to Babishka #3
Twice you've mentioned that the Eda Charedis authorized your wedding. Something is missing here. Is it possible that your wedding was not officiated by the state and the Eda Charedis provided you with a religious but not "governmental/Rabbanut" ceremony? Aliyah or marriage applications require this documentation. In my application for permanent residency, I had to provide a ketubah from my parents and there was a very recent date on it because it was lost and rewritten as required by Halacha. The official even picked up on this point and asked about it. I didnt have to bring a Ketubah from my grandparents because I provided one from my parents. Apparently in the article her parents dont have one.

23

 Nov 01, 2010 at 10:30 AM Babishka Says:

Reply to #22  
wondering Says:

and to Babishka #3
Twice you've mentioned that the Eda Charedis authorized your wedding. Something is missing here. Is it possible that your wedding was not officiated by the state and the Eda Charedis provided you with a religious but not "governmental/Rabbanut" ceremony? Aliyah or marriage applications require this documentation. In my application for permanent residency, I had to provide a ketubah from my parents and there was a very recent date on it because it was lost and rewritten as required by Halacha. The official even picked up on this point and asked about it. I didnt have to bring a Ketubah from my grandparents because I provided one from my parents. Apparently in the article her parents dont have one.

You are correct that I did not have a state approved ceremony, but my ketubah was required for my son and daughter when they made aliyah.

24

 Nov 02, 2010 at 10:01 AM PrezJackson Says:

Hi Morons.
I'm Hillary's father and here are the facts;
Fact; Hillary was born Jewish (The nutballs in the Rabbinate were presented with enough documentation to kill a tree. Oops, it was Conservative documentation).
Fact; Hillary presented documentation in regard to her "Jewishness" from five Rabbi's ( Oops, four of them were Conservative and one was, ohmygosh, Chabad).
Fact; Hillary presented a letter from the (Oops) Conservative Congregation where her mother and I were married.
Fact; Hillary presented a copy of our "get" (Oops, it was signed by a Conservative Rabbi) which, ipso facto indicates her Jewish birth.

The reluctance of the Israeli Rabbinate to accept Hillary's "Jewishness" is nothing more than a power play by a bunch of "holier than thou" idiots. These mental midgets have chosen a path of exclusiveness instead of inclusiveness. Their attempt at achieving "racial purity" smacks of a program tried seventy years ago.

My anger at these, so called, Rabbis runs so deep that I have ceased contributing to ANY orthodox cause. Or, to put it bluntly; You hurt my child, therefore you must feel pain!

25

 Nov 02, 2010 at 12:50 PM savti613 Says:

Reply to #24  
PrezJackson Says:

Hi Morons.
I'm Hillary's father and here are the facts;
Fact; Hillary was born Jewish (The nutballs in the Rabbinate were presented with enough documentation to kill a tree. Oops, it was Conservative documentation).
Fact; Hillary presented documentation in regard to her "Jewishness" from five Rabbi's ( Oops, four of them were Conservative and one was, ohmygosh, Chabad).
Fact; Hillary presented a letter from the (Oops) Conservative Congregation where her mother and I were married.
Fact; Hillary presented a copy of our "get" (Oops, it was signed by a Conservative Rabbi) which, ipso facto indicates her Jewish birth.

The reluctance of the Israeli Rabbinate to accept Hillary's "Jewishness" is nothing more than a power play by a bunch of "holier than thou" idiots. These mental midgets have chosen a path of exclusiveness instead of inclusiveness. Their attempt at achieving "racial purity" smacks of a program tried seventy years ago.

My anger at these, so called, Rabbis runs so deep that I have ceased contributing to ANY orthodox cause. Or, to put it bluntly; You hurt my child, therefore you must feel pain!

You go PrezJackson!
This will indeed "tear our people apart". I guess the sacrifice of your parents in WWII didn't make Hillary Jewish enough!
Is it not enough that we are surrounded by haters. Do we never learn from our past experiences? Are we not our own worst enemies?
Iran will not have to destroy us with nukes. We will do that to ourselves without firing a single missle.
Wake up Yiddin! Orthodox, Reform, Chassidim, Misnagdim all marched to the gas chambers together. Hitler (yimach shemo v'zichro) did not discriminate. Stop descerating the memory of those who died al kiddish Hashem. Enough! If we don't stand together, work together and respect each other we will not prevail.
Stop this madness!

26

 Nov 03, 2010 at 12:21 PM HillyG Says:

Reply to #2  
bigwheeel Says:

In all of this chatter, Ms. Hillary Rubin does not say why the Rabbinate office did not accept her "Documentation" stating that she is Jewish. If someone has contiguous Jewish lineage, there is no reason for them to be barred from getting a Marriage certificate, regardless of their religious affiliation. What the Israeli Rabbinate does not recognize is Conversion documents by the Conservative and Reform movements.

Actually, since we're talking about me- I figured I'd answer. When I handed them my documentation from a Conservative Rabbi- they flat out told me they didn't accept this as proof of Judaism because it's not from an Orthodox Rabbi. Then I had a letter from an Orthodox Rabbi - they didn't accept that either. They wanted 4 generations of marriage, birth, and death certificates from my mother's side of the family. Since they didn't read English, I told them they probably wouldn't read Hungarian either. I also told them the documents are impossible to get since my great-grandmother was gassed to death in Auschwitz (for being Jewish) and all the previous documents were destroyed. I was then told it was my problem, not the manager of the Herzliya Rabbanut.

So, in fact, they did NOT recognize my stream of Judaism.

27

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