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600 Conservative Rabbis Protest Bibi ‘Betrayal’ Over Orthodox Control

More than 600 rabbis affiliated with the Conservative movement have signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protesting the country’s lack of recognition and support for non-Orthodox Jewish movements.

“We ask you to lead; we ask you to fulfill your promise to us that Israel will be the homeland of the entire Jewish people – Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and secular,” wrote the group of rabbis ahead of the High Holy Days.

Calling Netanyahu’s actions a “betrayal,” the letter-signers pointed to Netanyahu’s choice to freeze a deal for an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall and bills that would strip recognition from non-Orthodox Jewish conversions performed abroad.

“We find it unconscionable that Israel, the Jewish State, is the only democratic state in the world in which not all Jews are recognized or supported equally under the law or in the public square,” the letter wrote, addressing the conversion question.

Organized by Rabbi Steve Wernick, president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, as well as Rabbinical Assembly leader Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the letter was presented by the two to New York consul-general Dani Dayan.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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