Thursday, December 08, 2016

Israeli Rabbinate Will Adopt New Standards Likely To Validate Conversion of Ivanka Trump

As previously reported, in Israel in July the country's Supreme Rabbinical Court (which hears appeals in personal status matters) ruled that it will not recognize religious conversions performed by U.S. modern Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.  Lookstein is the New York rabbi who officiated in the conversion of Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka. In recent years, the Israeli Rabbinate has become more restrictive in recognizing conversions performed abroad.  Now however it appears that Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election has even impacted the Israeli Rabbinate.  According to JTA, in separate announcements yesterday both Israel's Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis announced that they will convene a meeting next week with the Chief Rabbinate Council and the Supreme Rabbinical Court to create standards for determining which rabbis' conversions will be recognized.  Once a rabbi is on the list, his conversions will be automatically recognized without further investigation. Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef suggested that the standards will result in recognition of Ivanka Trump's conversion.