In an apparent reversal of past policies, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel plans to recognize all Orthodox Jewish conversions performed in the country, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports.
The agreement, reached by the rabbinical authorities and the Jewish Life Information Center (ITIM), comes less than a year after a proposed Israeli conversion law that would have solidified Haredi Jewish control over recognized conversions was shelved following pressure from more liberal American and Israeli Jewish groups.
Israel's Chief Rabbinate will have six months to see if and how the new program works. ITIM, a non-profit Jewish lifecycle advocacy group, is expected to accept the offer in the coming days.
UPDATE: There was some confusion regarding how or if the agreement would affect the status of non-Orthodox conversions in Israel. JTA removed the report and then republished with a new title indicating that the Chief Rabbinate agreed to recognize all Orthodox conversions.
Sue Fishkoff, a JTA reporter who initially caught the errors in the brief, clarified in an email: "This new agreement does not affect non-Orthodox conversions, so it does not begin to address the elephant in the room, which is Reform and Conservative conversions within the state of Israel. Those are still not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate."