Rabbinate Opens Conversion-Fraud Division

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Rav Itamar Tobol, head of the Chief Rabbinate’s Marriage and Divorce Department, said that the Israeli rabbinate inaugurated a new division to expose fraud and already has success stories. For example, the division recently uncovered that a bridegroom registered to marry for a second time was the grandson of a woman who underwent a Conservative conversion in Uruguay decades ago and made him undergo a second conversion.

“The absurd thing about this story was that the young man had already married once before and this was his second marriage,” Rav Tobol said.

“Thanks to this new division we can to save many Jews from severe prohibitions and uncover many deceptions that can happen anytime,” he said. “Only a month ago, there was an incident involving a rov who sent a conversion certificate to another rabbi in Madrid [who was authorized to conduct conversions]. The rabbinate absolutely forbids this as it can lead to problematic collaboration between rabbis. Rabbis with less yiras shomayim can end up collaborating with rabbis who are totally unauthorized or who are associated with rabbinates [the rabbinate does] not rely upon. This can lead to spurious rabbinates making weddings vouched for by other rabbis recognized by the rabbinate.”

Rav Tobol also mentioned cases of people who were converted in return for bribery and a conversion where the person conducting the conversion married the convert.

“All these cases were exposed and dealt with thanks to the new division,” he said.

David Steger – Matzav.com Israel

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