Natan Sharansky joins protest against rabbinical court decision rejecting conversion


( Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharanksy on Wednesday participated in a demonstration in front of the Chief Rabbinate building in Jerusalem over a recent decision by the rabbinical court to reject a conversion by popular American Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.

Natan Sharansky. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“Rabbi Lookstein is a man of great renown and a lengthy record of accolades and achievements," Sharansky said in a statement posted by the Jewish Agency.

“At a time when we are combating efforts to delegitmize Israel, as our enemies attempt to sever the ties between young Jews and the Jewish state, this is deeply detrimental to Israel's image among Jewish communities around the world."

Demonstrators are protesting the controversial recent decision of the rabbinical court in Petah Tikvah to reject the conversion of a woman, which was performed by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, a prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi from New York. The protest was organized by Lookstein's former students and ITIM, an NGO advocacy group who appealed the Petah Tikvah decision.

As a result of the decision by the rabbinical court, all of Rabbi Lookstein’s previous conversion would be rejected as well. Lookstein converted Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Other prominent leaders participated in the demonstration including Modern Orthodox leader Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and several members of the Israeli Knesset.

The Supreme Rabbinical Court on Wednesday heard an appeal of the case but have not yet announced their decision.

Posted on July 6, 2016 .