The (Evil) Rotem Bill

Ok, so I am sure that some of you are surprised at the lack of commentary on this blog about The “Rotem Bill” which has been all over the Jewish news lately.  For those of you who live under a rock (ok, maybe that was too harsh) and haven’t heard about it,  in short the bill began as a way to ease the conversion process and questions, especially in regards to the relatively recent immigration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union.  However, over time the bill evolved to the point in which it grants all authority over conversion to the Charedi Chief Rabbinate, including retroactively saying conversions are not Kosher.

The reason I have neglected to say anything on it is not because it has not been on my mind, but the exact opposite.  It has been such a heated part of my life, I could not think of how to express myself in words suitable for public consumption.  In fact I still cannot, however I also cannot go another day without mentioning it.  So instead, I will share links to many other prominent organizations and leaders who have written and spoken about the topic. This is by no means a complete list – merely a list of what I have seen and found interesting so please feel free to share more.*

Organizational Statements:

Masorti.org (link)

USCJ.org (link)

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) (link)

Professional Statements:

Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO and Executive Vice President of USCJ (link)

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Assembly (link)

Rabbi Marc Angel, Founder/Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel (link)

Arnold Eisen, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) (link)

Opinions:

“Are you Jewish Enough?” – Jewish Journal – 07.13 (link)

“The Diaspora Need Not Apply” – New York Times – 07.15 (link)

“Rotem’s Bill Promises but Doesn’t Deliver” – The Jewish Week – 07.20 (link)

“Editors Notes: Unconverted” – JPost  – 07.23 (link)

*As much as I am open to different viewpoints, sometimes I have to hold my ground and this is one of those times.  If you do not agree that this is bad for world Jewry, kindly keep your opinions to yourself or share them on your own blog.  This is something neither Jessica nor I are distant from and we ask you to respect that.

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3 thoughts on “The (Evil) Rotem Bill

  1. thank you for posting these informative links, and for tactfully stating your support for american gerim while simultaneously reaffirming your commitment to k’lal yisrael.

    not only is that impressive, it is frankly comforting.

    kol hakavod.

  2. Thank you! This is a great list of links and a very eloquent stating of your opinion. I agree, incidentally, especially because my husband went through conversion that wouldn’t be considered kosher according to this proposed bill.

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