'Non-Jew' to re-wed

A man who was told last summer by a Jerusalem rabbinical court that he was no longer Jewish will marry his girlfriend in Israel at the end of this month — under Reform auspices.

London-based Yossi Fackenheim, 29, is the son of the renowned Reform theologian Emil Fackenheim, who died in 2003. Because his mother was a convert, as a two-year-old in Canada, he underwent an Orthodox conversion. But last year he was told that his conversion had been rescinded due to his lack of religious observance.

Mr Fackenheim acknowledged: “It’s not the most opportune time to re-marry as I am seeking to get this blight stricken, but I’m desperate to get married.” He and his girlfriend of four months will have a Reform ceremony in Tel Aviv.”

He hopes a legal appeal “will return to me my right to obtain an Orthodox marriage” in the future.

In 2001 he had married in Jerusalem in an Orthodox ceremony. But when he and his wife attended a Jerusalem bet din in 2008 to obtain a get, or religious divorce, he was told that he could not issue a get because his Jewish status was in question. His wife complained that this left her in marital limbo, and eventually it was agreed that a get should be issued, by the court, to her.

    Last updated: 11:39am, May 7 2009