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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Foundation Grantee Wins Fight for Israeli Woman Trying to Prove her Jewish Status

The Center for Women's Justice (CWJ), a Foundation grantee, has won a significant victory for an Israeli woman whose status as a Jew was questioned by the rabbinical authorities.  Their client's marriage application turned into a nightmare for two generations when a District Rabbinic Court "revoked" her mother's conversion to Judaism, 29 years after the fact--thus rendering their as client non-Jewish as well, and unable to marry a fellow Jew in Israel.  CWJ appealed the decision to the High Rabbinic Court. In a hearing yesterday, CWJ successfully challenged the lower court's decision. The tribunal of High Rabbinic Court judges, headed by Rabbi David Lau, accepted CWJ's appeal and declared that the client, and her mother, were Jewish!

"Today we can smile. Sarit came into the rabbinical court as a gentile and left with her Jewish status reinstated," said CWJ attorney Nitzan Caspi-Shiloni. 

Although their client's case has been resolved, the policy of investigating a convert's lifestyle when they register to marry or divorce has not changed. Continues Nitzan, "Converts may still have trouble sleeping at night out of concern that, at any time, the religious establishment can invalidate their Jewishness."

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