In Setback for Religious Pluralism, Israel Denies Recognition to Reform Congregation in Guatemala

The Jerusalem court decision is the latest setback for emerging Jewish communities. In a related ruling, non-Orthodox converts from Brazil told they’re not eligible for aliyah

Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz

In a ruling with implications for emerging Jewish communities around the world, Jerusalem District Court has upheld a decision preventing Reform converts in Guatemala from making aliyah.

The ruling, handed down last week, came in response to a petition submitted by Rony Veliz, a Guatemalan dentist who had converted to Judaism through the Reform movement seven years ago, and whose request to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return was denied by the Jewish Agency and the Interior Ministry. He is a member of a new Jewish community in the Central American country, made up entirely of converts, that was accepted into the global Reform movement.

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