Ivanka Trump’s conversion accepted under new standards.

Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, has spoken: the conversion to Judaism by Ivanka Trump does not need any investigation. He also decreed that further clarification of the religious event is also not needed.

The Trump conversion came with controversy as there were doubts as to whether it met the standards created by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel when it came to recognizing which of the Diaspora rabbis it trusts to manage Jewish conversions.

This is important as the Chief Rabbinate has its share of critics. They have complained for a long time that the rabbinical courts of Israel lacks clear standards when it comes to making decisions on the conversions taking place outside the country. The religious officials, in-lieu, either reject or approves conversions to the Orthodox Judaism on case by case basis.

When it came to Ivanka Trump, her conversion was recognized as this particular conversion was specially vetted by the Rabbinic Council of America (RCA). This was made possible as an agreement was made earlier with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Trump was converted by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who interestingly had converted another person to Judaism but the second one was not recognized. There was a lot of brouhaha in the Israeli press for this duplicity. The reform was done with the intention to prevent such kind of recurrence when it’s the same rabbi. However, standards of both Chief Rabbinate and RCA must be put in place as conversion procedures within the United States are non-uniform. Some corrupt clergymen many even carry out unauthorized conversions.

According to Yosef, this reform when implemented will stop the suffering of a number of converts who underwent a conversion out of the country and then came to Israel for marriage registration. In a number of cases, they also came for a divorce. In the past, the Chief Rabbinate officials had the authority to verify every case individually. The new system, in contrast, states that conversions made by an approved rabbi will have automatic approval and will not be subject to any kind of further checking.

The Supreme Rabbinical Court of Israel in July, which is distinct from Chief Rabbinate, gave the ruling that it will not recognize any conversions made by Haskel Lookstein, a well-known New York rabbi. The chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi, David Lau, had already recognized conversions conducted by Lookstein.


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