Skip To Content
Breaking News

Conversions Performed by IDF Called Invalid

Possibly thousands of conversions to Judaism of Israeli soldiers performed by the military rabbinate are not valid, a state attorney said.

The conversions are invalid, the state prosecutor told Israel’s Supreme Court justices on Monday, because they were not approved by the Chief Rabbinate and often were conducted by rabbis who are not recognized as religious court judges.

The conversion documents provided through the Israeli military only apply in cases of legal matters where the holder must be Jewish, but they cannot be used to register for a Jewish marriage, the attorney explained.

The statements were made during a court hearing to address the refusal by town and city rabbis to register converts for marriage. About 4,500 soldiers, the majority of them women, have converted to Judaism while in the military.

“The conversions are implemented precisely according to all the rules of halachah, and the rabbinic judges in the IDF are fully authorized to carry out conversions,” Rabbi Haim Druckman, who served as head of the state’s Conversion Authority until 2008, told Army Radio Tuesday morning. “All of the soldiers who converted to Judaism in the IDF are real Jews.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.