I don't know why Haaretz journalists can never go out and research their stuff - anyway, there are almost 20 conversion courts in this country, which are non-haredi. There are two haredi ones that (after serious failure) learned a lot from the national religious courts recently. Now, for demanding observance WHILE converting (afterwards really nobody cares), the rabbis on the ground are not very strict. They ask you to be a member of a community but in terms of dress code or other private issues they are lenient, considering that you are new to Judaism. In fact, the courts convert almost everybody (above 90%). More then that, the rabbis try to be nice and warm during the whole process; only if you cheat on them they get a little angry. Thus, if people don't show up at the conversion courses it is either because they don't know what I tried to state here (bad PR of the system) or because actually they don't want to convert in the first place.
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Two female bombers kill 58 in northeast Nigerian refugee camp (AP)
from the article: Zionist rabbis agree to serve on independent conversion courts