The Rotem Conversion Law now having had its First Reading in the Knesset is bad -- bad for Israel, bad for Diaspora Jewry. This legislation has provoked JFNA to correspond with the Prime Minister on at least 4 occasions and to meet productively with President Shimon Peres. As I read the correspondence (including the JFNA "Coordinating Council's" letter of July 13) , the JFNA Leadership Briefing on the subject yesterday and Silverman's daily "Updates" to G-d knows who (but not to JFNA Board members), I begin to fear that JFNA may not even understand the Bill's impact.
Sure, Jerry Silverman cites the Bill's ceding to "...the Orthodox-run Chief Rabbinate full control over conversions in Israel and urging that any convert 'accepts the yoke of mitzvot according to halacha." But this legislation is then ignored by JFNA which then focuses on the meetings it has held, the frustration that the Prime Minister hasn't replied to its urgings, etc., etc. READ THE LEGISLATION, JFNA LEADERS, IT IS FAR WORSE THAN THE WHAT YOU HAVE CITED. You've met with Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of HIDDUSH -- for Freedom of Religion and Equality. Why not reprint Regev's analysis if you can't provide your own?
I have grown impatient with JFNA's failure to focus on the core ills of the legislation while they seem to seek some undefined "dialogue." "Dialogue" about what exactly? This isn't about JFNA after all, as important as JFNA is (or could be). This is about something far more important -- the portent of the impact of the legislation in its present form upon Diaspora Jewry and the previously converted, immigrants and on our families and the families of our fellow Jews. Articulate why, if you are able.