Beth Din rejects rabbis' call for end to conversion

The London Beth Din has rejected a call from a senior rabbi for a worldwide halt to conversions.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of Mill Hill Synagogue, chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, proposed the suspension in a JC article last week because of continuing controversy over converts in Israel.

But the Beth Din said it took “exception” to his comments which did not reflect its “principles, policies or intended plans”.

It went on: “As dayanim charged with the task of administering and overseeing the conversion process on behalf of Anglo-Jewry, we feel privileged to be involved in this vital and spiritual process. Righteous converts have made important contributions to our community and Anglo-Jewry is greatly enriched by their presence within our communities.”

The London Beth Din remained fully committed to the “professional, sensitive and halachically consistent implementation” of conversion procedures.

Rabbi Schochet offered his idea in the wake of growing concern over the incidence of Israeli Orthodox rabbis refusing to recognise conversions carried out by fellow rabbis.

“My article was no more than a suggestion to be considered as one possible way that may allow the lamentable controversy to abate,” he said this week.

Last updated: 10:41am, February 15 2010