End the Orthodox-run Rabbinical monopoly on Judaism! All forms of Judaism must be equal.

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It is the duty of the State of Israel, to give Diaspora Jewry the feeling that Israel is their home. Unfortunately at the moment, many of us are feeling rejected and not a part of what should be 'the homeland of every Jew'. In Israel, the Orthodox movement is in charge of marriages, burials and divorces. Only people who 'pass' the Orthodox definition of who is a Jew, have the privilege of getting married in the State of Israel, or to be buried next to their loved ones. There are MILLIONS of Jews in the world (especially in the USA) who do not fit this strict definition of being Jewish, usually because they, or their family members converted through a Reform, Conservative or an Orthodox movement which isn't approved by the standards of the Israeli Rabbinate.

A new bill has been drafted in Israel, where soon, only conversions conducted by selected established Orthodox bodies will be recognised, according to regulations being drafted by the Chief Rabbinate. If this bill is approved, it would be an absolute disaster, effectively ending whatever little religious pluralism and diversity there is left in the country and giving more power and control to the Orthodox movement.

Thousands of people will have their conversion stripped away, many will not be able to make Aliyah under the law of return, a large number of divorces will be annulled, and as a result many of people would acquire an official 'Mamzer' status (person born out of an illegitimate relation), causing havoc, heartache and rejection all around.

What I ask today is to stop this from happening, to allow religious pluralism to thrive and flourish, and to keep religious laws separate from State affairs. No Jew should be a treated as a second class Jew. As we are moving towards modern and progressive times, so should we. Judaism and all forms of it should be respected and embraced. We cannot allow one religious sector to rule and effect everyone. It only creates divide between Jewish people rather than bring unity between us.


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