Leading National Religious Rabbis Reject Conversions By Stav and Riskin


A group of leading rabbis declared Tuesday that they will not recognize conversions made by the newly self-declared conversion court that seeks to flank the Rabbinate’s courts, Arutz Sheva reports.

The following is their statement:

“We, the undersigned, wish to strengthen the hands of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the sole source of halakhic decisions that affect the State of Israel on a national level and the central authority on matters of conversion to Judaism,” wrote the rabbis.

“We are the generation that merited the establishment of a Jewish State. The Chief Rabbinate, established by our mentor Rabbi Avraham HaCohen Kook, zts”l, is the nucleus of this state’s Jewish identity.

“Private conversions deal a severe blow to our national unity in this country and shake the very foundations of our definition as a Jewish state. This is a de facto separation of religion and state, in total contradiction to our holy Torah, the sole wellspring of our Religious Zionist ethos.

“And above all, the mass conversion of minors goes against the halakhic opinions of the vast majority of Torah Sages of recent generations, first and foremost Rabbi Kook – it is an act that is not accepted by the halakhic decisors of the People of Israel.

“Therefore, we declare that we will recognize only conversions that have been certified by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and those who stand at its head. We call on all rabbis from every sector to stand as one behind the Chief Rabbinate, to strengthen and support it, to raise the level of Judaism in our land and to guard the principles of halacha.

“With the blessings of Torah, signed:

Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hevron

Rabbi Chaim Shteiner, Merkaz Harav Yeshiva

Rabbi Tzvi Yisrael Tau, Har Hamor Yeshiva

Rabbi Eitan Eisman, Pres. Noam Educational Institutions

Rabbi Eliyahu Zini, Pres. Haifa Hesder Yeshiva

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Chief Rabbi of the Shomron

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva (Dean,) Ramat Gan Hesder Yeshiva

Rabbi Michael Hershkowitz, Merkaz Harav Yeshiva

Rav Micha Halevi, Chief Rabbi of Petach Tikva

Rabbi Mordechai Sternberg, Rosh Yeshiva, Har Hamor

Rabbi Amiel Sternberg, Rosh Yeshiva, Har Hamor

Rabbi Shlomo Levi, Kollel Head, Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva

Rabbi Shimon Cohen, Chairman, Beit Moriah Institutions

Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Head of the Rabbanei Emunah Organization.”

Thirty additional rabbis of towns, neighborhoods, yeshivas, the IDF Rabbinate, Hadassah Hospital, Ulpanas, Judaic Institutes as well as Rabbinic Judges have already signed the document, with more expected.

{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Charlie hall,you’ve got it all wrong,this isn’t about politics-this is halacha and avoiding insincere,
    ‘quikie” conversions of people have no intention to follow jewish law and have no irat shmayim..

  2. The statement is factually incorrect regarding the history. Rav Kook z’tz’l did not create the Chief Rabbinate. His position was created by the British, and the position of Sefardic Chief Rabbi dates to Ottoman times as was the official role of the rabbinate in personal status issues.