Sammy Benjamin wrote :
If the considerations are straightforward then I would not fight the system. But when it works against its own people for political and personal agendas, it becomes necessary to speak up rather than allow ourselves to get discriminated against.

Why is it important that there be an established hierarchical institution that needs to certify our devotion to our God and ones privilege to be recognized as Jews?. Have Jews become like the Christians who need the Pope to make their important decisions. Many questions arise that are baffling ;

        Do we need agents who negotiates our Jewish relationship between us and God?

        Do we need somebody to govern the degree of our devotion to God?

        Did God appoint such people to control who shall be deemed Jewish and who shall not?

        Does a forced conversion process satisfy the top brass of this man-made hierarchy?

        If a born Jew is violating Jewish customs, laws and traditions, is there a provision that demotes their Jewish status ?

I do not need answers to these questions, but hope they will help us apply some introspect to rectify the rules of  recognition of pious Jews who are devoted to Judaism but cannot produce a certificate from a hierarchical institution. Because we Jews are not supposed to believe in such a heirarchy.

I am not vouching for the person in this news story as I do not know the background. However I can fell the pain based on my own personal experiences. I am happy that  has helped shed light on this issue and bring it to its readers.

News Story: Ethiopian bride's fight for Jewish marriage
By Tova Dadon,, September 15, 2010

Southern resident insists on being recognized as a Jew, refuses to undergo any conversion procedure after rabbis question her Jewish origins ahead of wedding. For four years she fights rabbinical establishment until she prevails.


Southern resident insists on being recognized as a Jew, refuses to undergo any conversion procedure after rabbis question her Jewish origins ahead of wedding. For four years she fights rabbinical establishment until she prevails.

An Ethiopian woman fought for four years to be recognized as a Jew refusing rabbis' demands to undergo conversion procedures and was even forced to postpone her wedding. Last week, the Great Rabbinical court in Jerusalem declared she will be able to bathe in a mikveh prior to her wedding and ruled there will be no record of her undergoing a procedure to return to Judaism.

The woman, a resident of southern Israel, and her partner scheduled their wedding for August 2006, but never imagined four years would pass before they would stand under a chuppah. In 2006, they held a celebration without the traditional Jewish marriage ceremony as the rabbinate questioned the bride's Jewish origin.

After the couple first registered for marriage, the Ashdod religious council forwarded the woman's file to Rabbi Yosef Hadana in Tel Aviv, who was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate as the Ethiopian sector's marriage registrar.

The rabbi ruled that the woman was not Jewish after claiming to have been told that her grandparents had converted to Christianity, and therefore refused to validate her status as a Jew until she underwent a bathing procedure. The Tebeka foundation, which provides legal aid to members of the Ethiopian sector, saw little chances of overriding Hadana's decision.

However, the woman refused to undergo any form of conversion and turned to Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar. She provided him with depositions of witnesses who vouched for her and who stated they knew the family and its Jewish origins. However, schedule difficulties prevented Amar from ruling on the matter in time for the wedding, and the Chupah ceremony was never held.

Battling On

The woman did not give up and continued her campaign. Two attorneys from the Tebeka foundation motioned a Rehovot court to intervene in the matter but were rejected.

An appeal was eventually filed with the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court, which recently reached a compromise acceptable by all parties, whereby the bride will bathe in a mikveh and the religious judges will wait outside to ensure the procedure had indeed taken place.

According to the compromise, the bride will receive a regular marriage certificate with no record that she was brought back to the Jewish faith.

"I believed I was a Jew all along and was unwilling to undergo a procedure of returning to Judaism because I know and believe my family," the bride said. "I am glad that it's over and now my sisters will not have to go through this ordeal."

Originally published here:,7340,L-3948137,00.html


Another story of Discrimination against Ethiopian Jews :

Ministry ordered to pay NIS 280,000 compensation to Ethiopian children removed from Arad preschool

By Or Kashti,   Haaretz

The Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court has ordered the Arad municipality and the Education Ministry to pay NIS 280,000 in compensation to five Ethiopian immigrant families whose children were removed from kindergartens during the school year. The authorities had argued that the ratio of immigrant to non-immigrant pupils was too high.

In his ruling last week, Judge Gad Gideon criticized the municipality's "arbitrary decision" to remove the children from the kindergartens "and its refusal to allow them back for many months." The judge also criticized the Education Ministry for "not doing enough to foil the [municipality's] decision."