Israeli Chief Rabbinate: Shliach’s Conversion Invalid

A Jewish convert from the US who made aliyah to Israel had her conversion rejected by the Chief Rabbinate’s department for matrimony and conversion earlier this year, who said it was invalid. The rejection of the Giyur raised many eyebrows, since it was performed by senior Chabad emissary and veteran rabbi Moshe Feller of Minnesota, under the auspices of the Beth Din of America.

From the Jerusalem Post: 

Although her conversion was subsequently approved by the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court, the incident is the latest in a series of such rejections, which are being viewed in some quarters as a rebuff by the Chief Rabbinate of the legitimacy of Orthodox Jewish institutions in the US. Hauna, 24, converted in Minnesota in 2006 with senior Chabad emissary Rabbi Moshe Feller. She received a conversion approval certificate from the rabbinical court of the Chicago Rabbinical Council in 2009 before she emigrated to Israel in 2010.

After making aliyah, Hauna became engaged and, six weeks before the wedding date, approached her local rabbinate in Herzliya to approve her Jewish status and register her and her fiancé for marriage.

The Herzliya office sent her original conversion certificate from Feller as well as her conversion approval certificate from the Chicago rabbinical court to the Chief Rabbinate’s matrimony and conversion department for its approval in order to process the marriage registration.

Click here to continue reading at The Jerusalem Post.

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20 Comments

  • 1. Pinny wrote:

    That’s not fair. If rabbi fellig who is orthodox says she converted according to halacha, then all orthodox authorities should accept her.

  • 2. emes wrote:

    The report from the Jerusalem Post is dishonest and misleading. 
    The chief rabbinate did not question the kashrus of R’Feller. They do not recognize or accept beth din of America. 
    R’Feller perhaps made a mistake by doing geirus under beth din of america…he could have done the geirus under one of many accepted chabad botei din. It is now well known that no frum beis din, even the israeli cheif rabbinate, consider the beth din of America an orthodox beis din. ‎
    The rejection was nothing to do with R’Feller‎.

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      You are not telling the truth at all. The Chief Rabbinate has an agreement with the Beis Din of America to accept all of their giyurim. This was a serious violation of that agreement, and the BDA will have to pursue this with the Rabbinate. Most private botei din, on the other hand, including Chabad ones, are never accepted. Even Rabbi Bomzer z”l’s giyurim are not accepted any more.

      And the rejection had everything to do with Rabbi Feller; the objection was that he does not have dayonus. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has notoriously been making up new requirements for giyur that have no basis in halocho, and this is one of them.

    • 4. Mis wrote:

      It’s actually not the Jerusalem Post that hathe misleading title, its cownheights.info that in the title. The Jerusalem Post just mentions Feller in the article, not title.

  • 5. Not nevessarily so wrote:

    Not to be specific but there are many questionable “converts” out there. Lol Hakavoad that the Rabbinate is strict. I wish they were stricter in the USA

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      They are not being strict, they are inventing a new Torah for themselves that has no basis in halocho. Their purpose is to seize power for themselves and set themselves up as the Chief Rabbinate of the world, as if they were the Sanhedrin or something. They are nothing but Rabbonim MItaam, and they have no right to invalidate other rabbonim’s giyurim. Every time they tell a kosher Jew that they don’t accept his or her giyur they are violating the issur de’oraisa of עינוי הגר, and putting into question their own chezkas kashrus.

    • 7. Agreed. wrote:

      I have heard from many respectable Rabbonim that geirus today should only be performed if utterly necessary, for example if there is a family with children and the father or mother is a gentile, or if someone was adopted etc. and found out later that their geirus was not k’halacha.

  • 10. orthodox rabbi no guarantee wrote:

    So many Chabad males have “smicha” that would hardly make them qualified to m’giyur people. More credentials needed than being an orthodox rabbi. It has been my understanding that Chabad davka does not m’giyur because you really need expertise.

  • 11. Frightening wrote:

    When my first child was getting married in Crown Heights, my husband approached the Beis Din to see when would be a good time to bring my kesuba. They said they don’t need to see it. So for all they knew, I could have been a non-kosher “gioyres”, my child could have been a mamzer R”L – they just don’t care.

    It is frightening that we have no idea about baalei teshuva or gioyrim or even foreigners who get married here. I know of one case when the Shlucha was pushed, she admitted that this woman’s status was questionable. But the woman got married anyway.

    Think about what this negligence means: who knows if the kids in our schools are all halachically Jewish? And when they get married? What happens if one decides to be a member of the Chevra Kedisha? The ramifications are enormous.

  • 12. So sad wrote:

    My heart breaks for her. A born Jew will never be able to understand what it’s like to be told you aren’t Jewish, especially after putting your heart and soul into conversion. This poor woman did everything right. RCA is the gold standard of orthodox conversion in America, and the Israeli Rabbinate has promised to accept conversions through it. And yet 6 weeks before what should have been one of the happiest days in her life, they told her her entire life was invalid. Every convert, especially females, lives in fear of this.

  • 13. neighbor wrote:

    how about the lady who said she had a “quick conversion” in America.
    or a shliach that said if “she says she is Jewish we believe her, even if her mother says we are not” (without looking further into it)

  • 15. Why? wrote:

    Because not every “Orthodox” rabbi is qualified to convert people; in fact, most aren’t. It’s downright scary to ponder how many “geirim” are in fact still goyim because power hungry “rabbis” toivel someone without concern for their true intent. If you want proof just look how many alleged geirim within Chabad alone revert to their old ways as soon as they dry off from the mikveh. The entire thing is way, way out of control. At this point I believe the best thing for the Jewish people would be to stop conversions. As one commenter noted we simply have enough internal problems that we don’t need to invite more. This is especially true of alleged ba’ale teshuvah types with only a Jewish father who infiltrate Chabad under the guidance and acceptance of a shaliach. Enough is enough.

  • 17. RCA wrote:

    I am a Guir, and I don’t trust the RCA one bit. It took me years of classes and thousands of dollars to go through the system, and it is sad that there are other organizations out there that are perverting the authority they are given. It ruins the converts integration into communities, their ability to marry, and there perspective of what is frum. We should be working harder to strenghten the bais dins and only have Chassidish bais dins in America, not these lax modern orthodox RCA money pots. Satmar, Chabad, Belz, and the others need to make their own, strict, bais dins.

  • 18. emes wrote:

    The chief rabbinate does NOT have an agreement to “blanketly accept all rca conversions”. That is simply not true! It is a lie spread by the rca. Rca/beth din of america is not “gold standard” they are the same as conservative.  Do you really believe that the RCA Freundel conversions are acceptable in ANY frum beis din?! The reality of the agreement is that they accept SOME rca conversions but ONLY after written review and approval by an independent frum dayan‎.

  • 19. mitzvah man2 wrote:

    The bais din of America is both corrupt and not frum. Their conversions aren’t valid.

  • 20. Detroit wrote:

    I know a Chabad rabbi in Detroit that makes up Jews as he needs a minyan. Of course he makes sure he gets his money as well

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