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Israel to grant citizenship to non-Orthodox Jewish converts in Israel

Israeli Supreme Court extends right to citizenship to those who converted under non-Orthodox auspices in Israel.

Israel must grant citizenship to Jews who converted to Judaism in Israel under non-Orthodox auspices, its Supreme Court ruled Monday, possibly igniting another round in the long-running government battle over who the state should recognize as Jewish.

The decision, written by Chief Justice Esther Hayut, comes less than a month before national elections.

Israel’s Law of Return offers automatic citizenship to anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent. The state also generally recognizes those who converted to Judaism under Orthodox standards.

Past Supreme Court decisions have mandated that the state also recognize Jews who converted outside of Israel under non-Orthodox authority, provided they live in a recognized Jewish community. Non-Orthodox converts, such as Conservative or Reform Jews, however, still often face hurdles in obtaining Israeli citizenship and are sometimes denied.

Monday’s decision extends the right to citizenship to those who converted to Judaism under non-Orthodox auspices in Israel itself.


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