At the annual convention of the Conference of European Rabbis held in Minsk, Belarus, conference chairman Rav Menachem Gelley announced that “Rabbis who are not authorized to perform conversions and persist in it will be banished from the ranks of rabbis in Europe.”
“We will formulate basic transparent rules which oblige all activities of European dayonim in general and particularly on the conversion process,” he said. “As a first step, we will catalogue the existing botei din, their mode of operation, and those authorized to deal with conversions.”
Rav Gelley told delegates that an international conference of European and Israeli dayonim was to be held next year with the participation of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and various beis din officials in order to establish uniform halachic and administrative standards.
During the convention, delegates headed by Conference President Rav Pinchas Goldschmidt met Chairman of the Belarus Assembly Dr. Michael Myasnikovich, who suggested establishing unified initiatives to develop the country’s mekomos kedoshim, including the setting up of a shul and hotel in Radin.
“We will help in all matters to return Jewish life to its former glory, if even only to a small degree,” Myasnikovich said, adding that after a special request from the rabbonim, Belarus planned to allot a space for a Jewish cemetery. At present, Jews are buried in areas allocated to them in general cemeteries.