RCA Announces Establishment of Recognized National Network of Rabbinical Courts for Conversion
Feb 26, 2008 -- The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest Orthodox rabbinic group in the world, has today announced the establishment of a North American network of rabbinical courts for conversion. The network, established with the enthusiastic agreement of the RCA membership at large, creates uniform standards of Orthodox conversion. The network will benefit genuine converts and their offspring, by facilitating their acceptance in Jewish communities around the world. The courts, a number of which are already functioning in major communities, will involve the active leadership of local rabbis in all phases of the conversion process. The courts will adhere to the protocol for conversion procedures issued some months ago by the RCA.
Key to the success of the network will be the maintenance of permanent and comprehensive databases for future reference, as well as close consultation and cooperation among the various rabbinical courts, rabbinic organizations, and communal leadership groups.
The network of Rabbinical Courts for Conversion under the supervision of the Rabbinical Council of America and its affiliated Beth Din of America is committed to perform conversions in accordance with the highest standards of halachah, and is recognized throughout the Diaspora and in Israel by the Chief Rabbinate.
RCA Supports all Valid Past Conversions by its Members
Mar 11, 2008 -- The Rabbinical Council of America wishes to state for the record, and for the express purpose of preventing needless anguish on the part of many genuine converts, whom the Torah commands us to love and respect, the following:
The RCA/GPS (Geirus Policies and Standards) Protocol for Conversions relates to future converts and conversions. All those who were converted properly in the past according to the dictates of Halacha should be aware that the status of their conversions is unchanged and is not subject to any reevaluation.
Public written statements over the last few days have raised questions regarding the status of conversions performed by RCA rabbis in the past, and whether all such converts would be subject to special re-evaluation or scrutiny by the RCA or by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. There is nothing in the RCA/GPS protocol for conversions that implies or states such a thing, and there was and is no intention to review or scrutinize, much less nullify, previous conversions.
All conversions performed by RCA member rabbis that were considered valid in the past will continue to be considered valid in the future.