The Rabbinical Council of America strongly objects to the latest decisions of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s office rejecting the endorsement of leading rabbinic figures in North America of the status of at least two converts. While we have worked assiduously with the Rabbinate in the past to assure the integrity of converts, recent missteps by its office have led to these latest decisions; we are working to reverse them.
Rabbi Shalom Baum, president of the RCA, said, “We have already begun an investigation into this latest disgrace and we demand a thorough report of how this could happen.”
This decision by the Chief Rabbinate is especially egregious because it challenges the rulings of one of the preeminent halachic authorities, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, shlit”a, who serves as the Av Beit Din of the Beth Din of America and because it disregards the great efforts that we have made over the years, for the benefit of converts, to work with the Chief Rabbinate.
Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President of the RCA said, “We will continue to advocate for and stand behind our converts, fully supporting the integrity of their status as Jews. We believe that the obligation of “ahavat ha-ger”–love and concern for all converts– is of paramount importance and we will continue to work on their behalf.”