Reform Jews 'Not Jewish,' Says Knesset Law Committee Head

In response to MK David Rotem's remarks, Reform Movement in Israel sends urgent letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein demanding he be called to order.

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

The chairman of a powerful Knesset committee has described the Reform movement as “another religion” and “not Jewish.”

MK David Rotem, chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, made the remarks during a discussion held by the committee on Tuesday on proposed changes in the law on child adoption. His was responding to a query about the Reform movement’s interests in these changes.

Rotem, an Orthodox Jew, is a member of Likud-Beiteinu.

In response to his remarks, the Reform Movement in Israel sent an urgent letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein demanding that Rotem be called to order.

“Remarks such as these make it impossible for MK Rotem to continue to chair discussions on sensitive issues such as conversion, Who is a Jew and other
topics related to religion and state and the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora," wrote Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Reform movement in Israel.

Rotem was the Knesset member behind a conversion bill that drew fierce opposition two years ago from the leaders of Conservative and Reform Judaism in America. That bill would have given the chief rabbinate in Israel exclusive authority over all conversions in the country.

He did not respond to repeated requests from Haaretz for a statement on the matter.

Reform Jewish women doing a practice run for a bat mitzvah.Credit: Lior Mizrahi/Baubau
David Rotem.Credit: Tess Scheflan

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