While Ivanka indeed converted to Judaism through an Orthodox rabbi, the Israeli rabbinate has a precedence of not accepting conversions from him, as he is ‘not stringent enough; rabbinate: ‘Ivanka’s conversion requires additional checks.’
ed note–several goodies contained herein…
1. If a Jew were to convert to Christianity, Islam, or any other competing religion, and said conversion were called into question by a pope, priest, preacher, or imam, organized Jewry the world over would be screeching like banshees and alleging that racism, bigotry, exclusivism, elitism and every other evil thing possible were at work. Furthermore, in between screeches, the ‘philosophical’ questions would of course be asked…’Just what kind of RELIGION is this, that presumes to look into a person’s inner being and adjewdicate them to be not worthy?… What would JESUS do in such a case?… Have they no decency???… Have they no charity??? WHERE IS THE LOVE?????!!!!!
After which point, the offending pope, priest, preacher, imam, whatever, would be forced to give a very high-profile public apology, probably in a synagogue of some sorts and to give some type of monetary reparations to some Hollerco$t fund.
However, a very public squabble, where a woman’s conversion–which should be between her and her creator–is perfectly fine when Jewish interests are concerned, and especially when it is the daughter of the world’s most powerful leader.
Seriously though, let’s just cut to the chase as to what all of this ‘jrama’ is all about.
1. Does anyone doubt for a second that if Hillary Clinton had been elected and darling lil’ Chelsea–also married to a rich, powerful, and well-connected Jew–were to ‘convert’ to Judaism that there would have been any question as to its authenticity or any attending controversy such as we are seeing today?
Yahweh forbid…Shouts of MAZEL TOV from every corner of the Jewniverse would be taking place and Madame President would be receiving the hearty congrats from Netanyahu and other goombahs within La Kosher Nostra in the same manner as Don Corleone was the recipient of cash stuffed envelopes and double kisses from his organized crime associates in the opening scene of The Godfather.
What it boils down to is as follows–Trump’s Trump card in neutralizing the usual black magic (which Jewish interests utilize whenever they are out to destroy someone by charging them with the high crime of ‘anti-Shemitism’) has obviously been his daughter being ‘Jewish’ and having married a ‘nice Jewish boy’ named Kushner. This, added to all the other things he has said and done providing him with a forcefield of sorts preventing any charges of being a ‘Jew hater’ from sticking to him hinges on his beloved daughter ‘being Jewish’. Therefore, attacking that forcefield at its source thus opens the door for the typical black magic to do what it is created to do, which is to destroy someone under the guise of so-and-so being a ‘Nazi’ and an ‘anti-Shemite’, and that, ladies and gentile-men, is the reason for the questioning of Ivanka’s ‘Jewishness’.
All this aside however, the other thing to keep in mind is that ‘being Jewish’ means being part of a priviledged, members-only club with all sorts of perks and fringe benefits and not something they want to open up to the public at large. It also delineates what is the inherent racism of Judaism and of Judaic thinking, where a person’s worth is based entirely on whether or not they possess that ‘divine spark’ within them as one of GAAAAAAWD’S chosen people, the very same charge (but in reverse) attributed to the 3rd Reich, who were/are accused of adjewdicating Jews as inferior based upon their non-Gentile ‘DNA’.
Last summer, Israel’s religious authorities issued a ruling that raised doubts about her conversion to Judaism. But since her father was elected president, they have changed their tune, raising eyebrows among activists who have long lobbied the rabbinical establishment to be more tolerant toward converts.
President Donald Trump’s daughter converted to Judaism under a prominent Orthodox rabbi in Manhattan before her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner, an observant Jew.
In their ruling last July, an Israeli government religious court rejected the legitimacy of another conversion by the same rabbi. Although it didn’t directly affect Ivanka Trump, it raised questions as
to whether Israel’s powerful religious establishment would recognize her as being Jewish.
But in early December, just weeks after Trump’s election victory, Israel’s chief rabbis said they would work to change the rules for recognizing conversions performed abroad — and they singled out Ivanka Trump.
“According to the new proposed plan … her conversion will be certified without the need for additional checks,” the announcement said.
Israeli activists say the sudden policy change appears to be an attempt to curry favor with the new U.S. president. Ivanka Trump’s husband has been appointed a senior adviser to Trump and is expected to focus on Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
An Israeli rabbinic committee has already met several times to discuss conversion policy, a speedier pace than usual, activists say.
“The timing is certainly suspicious,” said Rabbi Seth Farber, director of ITIM, an organization that represents converts seeking recognition from the rabbinate. “My biggest fear is that the rabbinate will find some way to find Ms. Trump kosher, to recognize her conversion, but leave thousands of other converts behind, simply saying they’re not Jewish enough for us.”
The Jewish Week, a New York newspaper, quoted an anonymous source with ties to Trump’s presidential transition team as saying high-ranking aides had expressed concern to Israel regarding the legitimacy of Ivanka Trump’s conversion, and that Israeli efforts to recognize her conversion would foster a closer relationship between the Trump family and Israel.
A spokeswoman for Trump did not return a request for confirmation, and Rabbi Levi Shemtov, a rabbi in Washington who is close to Ivanka Trump, declined comment.
A spokesman for one of Israel’s chief rabbis said the proposed changes were a long time coming and not a direct result of Trump’s election.
“Even before Ivanka Trump, it was talked about,” said spokesman Pinchas Tennenbaum, adding that the media attention “added problems, and we take it to heart.”
Since Ivanka Trump does not live in Israel, for her the issue is largely hypothetical. But for converts in Israel, the rabbinate’s ruling affects their daily lives. If they are not recognized as Jewish, they are not permitted to marry in Israel, and they are technically ineligible for a religious burial when they die.
Israel’s Orthodox establishment does not recognize conversions performed by the more liberal Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism, to which most American Jews belong. But immigration officials have more relaxed guidelines and do allow Reform and Conservative converts to gain citizenship in Israel as Jews.
These days, many Israelis simply wave off the rabbinate as irrelevant. Secular Israelis often wed in civil ceremonies abroad to avoid the rabbinate, while many ultra-Orthodox Jews dismiss the rabbinate’s certification of kosher food as too lax. Some Israelis perceive the rabbinate as corrupt: A former Israeli chief rabbi was sentenced to three and a half years in prison this week following charges of corruption and bribery.
“The rabbinate is a fossil of an institution that does not succeed in grappling with modern needs,” said Nahum Barnea, a columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth. “Most Israelis see the recognition of Ivanka Trump’s Judaism, or lack of recognition, as a joke.”
Under the proposed reform, the rabbinate would establish clear guidelines for which rabbis abroad are deemed fit to perform conversions, rather than the current practice of evaluating each individual convert.
All foreign-born Jews seeking a marriage license in Israel must first be checked by the rabbinate to ensure they are indeed Jewish. Between 2013 and 2015, some 5,000 people asked the rabbinate to recognize them as Jews, according to rabbinate figures.
Critics say Israeli rabbinical courts reject dozens of converts each year, claiming their Orthodox conversions were not stringent enough and in some cases questioning their motives and levels of observance.
The issue reached a boiling point last year when an Israeli rabbinical court refused to recognize the conversion of a 31-year-old American, Nicole Zeitler.
While working in New York, she converted to Judaism after a year and a half of study that included Hebrew lessons, a weekly questionnaire on Jewish topics and twice-a-week meetings with Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, a senior rabbi in the U.S. Orthodox community who also oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion.
“It was intense. I learned it and I lived it,” Zeitler said.
She moved to Israel and became engaged to an Israeli, but a rabbinical court would not grant her a marriage license, dismissing Lookstein’s credentials.
The move created an uproar in Israel, with the speaker of the Israeli parliament and head of Israel’s Labor party, who know Lookstein personally, petitioning the rabbinate to reconsider. In the end, the supreme rabbinical court persuaded Zeitler to undergo a quickened conversion by reciting a special declaration of faith, rather than recognize Lookstein’s conversion.
“The Israeli rabbinic establishment is an ultra-conservative establishment. Rabbi Lookstein is considered a more open-minded Orthodox rabbi,” Farber said. “It rubs some of the rabbinical authorities the wrong way.” Lookstein declined comment and deferred to Farber to speak on his behalf.
Elad Kaplan, a lawyer for ITIM who represented Zeitler in the religious court, believes the rabbinate’s promise to resolve the conversion controversy is directly connected to Trump’s election.
“It would definitely be embarrassing to the state of Israel and the rabbinate if . Ivanka Trump’s family were to visit Israel and for the official Jewish authorities in Israel to not recognize their Judaism,” Kaplan said.
As for Zeitler, she acknowledged it was “a little fishy” that the rabbis were suddenly interested in changing the rules on conversions.
“On the other hand, I’m happy that Trump is president, and that this may change things in the system,” she said. “I mean, isn’t this how things happen in the world anyway? Someone super famous and important has to come up and, in this case, be Jewish, to make a big change?”