Liberman files complaint against Chief Rabbi Lau over freezing conversions to Judaism

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman filed a complaint today with the ombudsman of public complaints against Chief Rabbi David Lau, after he froze all conversions to Judaism as long as the government continues to advance a plan to ease the process and dilute the Chief Rabbinate’s control over it.

Lau’s authorization is currently required for all conversions in the country. Halting the process impacts two significant segments of the population — immigrants from Ethiopia and from the former Soviet Union.

In a letter to the ombudsman, Liberman calls Lau’s move an “implicit threat, not to mention extortion,” Channel 13 news reports.

Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana proposed legislation will allow for conversions outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, authorizing municipal rabbis to supervise the process.

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