Israel: Controversial conversion bill shelved

The bill on Jewish conversions had drawn sharp criticism from American Jews.

Jerusalem: Israel`s government is shelving a bill on Jewish conversions that drew sharp criticism from American Jews.

In a statement, government spokesman Nir Hefetz says the government has reached an agreement with liberal Jewish denominations opposed to the bill. The bill will be withdrawn for six months as the sides try to hammer out an alternative.

The statement late Thursday said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the compromise to "preserve the unity of the Jewish people”.

The bill would have strengthened the control of Orthodox rabbis in Israel over the sensitive process of Jewish conversions.

The liberal Jewish denominations that make up the majority of American Jews feared the bill could undermine their legitimacy and connection to Israel.

Bureau Report

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