rs or impact. Whether people are “religious” or observant or not is not synonymous with being Conservative or Reform as it often is in the U.S. The synagogue most of world Jewry chooses to attend or not is most often Orthodox.
In the U.S., it is widely known that 40 percent of American Jews are unaffiliated with any organized synagogue movement and that more than 65 percent of Jews under 35 are unaffiliated. Non-Orthodox Jews are intermarrying at rates sometimes exceeding 75 percent in the U.S.
For the non-Orthodox movements to claim to represent “85 percent of world Jewry” is both wholly inaccurate and a huge stretch, which is entirely self-serving while concurrently actually potentially disenfranchising tens of thousands of Russian immigrants in Israel who are seeking possible conversion.
Rotem and his party are correct in dealing with the Israeli reality for Israelis. Extending latitude for conversions to city rabbis under the umbrella of the Chief Rabbinate doesn’t change substantively the status quo vis a vis conversions in Israel, while at the same time making conversions more accessible. American non-Orthodox rabbis who don’t live in Israel ought not be holding Israelis hostage when it comes to solving Israeli problems. Let the non-Orthodox fill their own synagogues and stop intermarriage here and leave Israel to the Israelis.