United Torah Judaism Yitzhak Pindrus apologizes for using the word “shiksas” (a pejorative term for non-Jewish women) for women who convert to Judaism through the Israel Defense Forces’ conversion program, calling the term “inappropriate.”
“I apologize to those who were converted according to Halacha and were offended by what I said,” he tells Channel 12.
However, he stands by his critique of the IDF’s conversion program, telling Channel 12 that its supporters aren’t aware of the “disaster” it causes for the Jewish people since, he claims, its graduates are not halachically Jewish.
Pindrus, speaking Monday on a panel at a conference organized by the ITIM organization and Kipa website, discussed the case of the daughter of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who converts under the military’s auspices.
She is a “shiksa, a non-Jew,” he said in a video clip aired by Army Radio on Tuesday.
“If she underwent an army conversion, she is not a Jew under halachic [Jewish legal] definitions.”
The army’s Nativ program, founded in 2001, is the only state-recognized conversion system in the country not controlled by the Chief Rabbinate. Hundreds of soldiers, most of them non-Jewish immigrants or descendants of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, enter the army’s conversion system each year.
Thousands have successfully finished the program and converted to Judaism through the IDF’s rabbinic court, which is Orthodox.