Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ethiopian Jews controversy

Haaretz: Religious courts are refusing to approve the conversions of young Ethiopians who want to enroll in secular education facilities. Last week a group of some 40 students who were registered for Jezreel Valley College were told they would not be converted because Shabbat is not observed at the dorms they would be living in. Absorption officials say the courts' policy is extremely offensive to these immigrants, who cannot obtain Israeli citizenship until they have conversion certificates. Haaretz has data showing that out of 181 young Ethiopians who have completed preparatory conversion courses since 2005, only one has received a conversion certificate....... Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar previously ruled that Ethiopian immigrants are "complete Jews, without any doubt," but noted that they need to undergo a process of "returning to Judaism.........
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