For the first time, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate issued a list of 69 overseas botei din, half of them in the US, and 80 individual dayonim approved to perform conversions, divorces and marriages. It also laid out its criteria for the future acceptance of such bodies and people, saying that botei din must be permanent, rabbonim must be permanent members of such botei din, and that future candidates for the list may need to be tested.
Most significantly, the list included Rav Haskel Lookstein of New York who converted Ivanka Trump, after omitting him on an earlier list.
The Rabbinate also struck an agreement with the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) to stop sending rabbonim to Europe to perform conversions. Furthermore, in return for the Rabbinate recognizing CER as the sole conversion authority in Europe, European rabbonim would no longer recognize private Israeli giyurim conducted outside the Rabbinate.
The Rabbinate issued the list of botei din and rabbonim after the Ittim organization petitioned for more transparency in regard to whom the Rabbinate trusts in foreign conversions, marriages and divorces.
Ittim slammed the list for omitting botei din and rabbis it approves. In similar vein, Shmuel Shattach of the Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah group, said the omission of “important rabbis and communities abroad” from the list was reason for “profound concern.”