LETTERS
Undermining rabbis

You report (With Dad installed in White House, they finally accept Ivanka is Jewish, February 3) that "Doubts over the validity of Ivanka Trump's conversion to Judaism seem to have evaporated . . . since her father became America's president".

The implication was that this shows that the Israeli rabbinate is corrupt since "In its ruling last July, an Israeli religious court rejected the legitimacy of another conversion by the same rabbi" and makes decisions on political motivations rather than halacha because, as "Israeli activists say the sudden policy change appears to be an attempt to curry favour with the new president".

This canard has been spread by these "Israeli activists" but has no basis.

The Israeli rabbinate has an agreement with the Rabbinical Council of America that conversions carried out by its members through the auspices of its Beth Din will be recognised which, I understand, was the case with Ivanka Trump.

This arrangement was designed to ensure that the conversions by American Orthodox rabbis should not be undermined by a minority of mavericks who were accepting converts whose bona fides were questionable.

The lady whose conversion was rejected had not gone through these channels and that was the primary reason for the decision.

That the sponsoring rabbi was the same as in Ivanka Trump's case is irrelevant - obviously he had not followed the agreed procedures in that case.

It seems the other lady was unable to satisfy the Israeli Beth Din that her case was merely a bureaucratic hiccup.

The real motivation of these "Israeli activists" is to undermine the rabbinate and thereby make the country's Jewishness a purely secular matter.

Martin Stern,
7 Hanover Gardens,
Salford.

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