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Letter to the editor

Stop humiliating American rabbis

Putting out a list of American rabbis whose conversions are not accepted in Israel is humiliating to Jews in America and to their families. In America, we respect our spiritual leaders whom we turn to in good times and bad.

As a rabbi for over 40 years, now retired, I always told the few families of those I converted that their conversions would probably not be accepted in Israel. It is particularly upsetting that Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the executive director of the New York Board of Rabbis, is listed.

As chairman of the Holocaust committee of the New York Board and a member for over 40 years, I find listing his name very disturbing. Whether Israel accepts his conversions or mine or any of my rabbinical colleagues is out of our hands. Numerous times on a personal level when someone in my family needed emergency assistance in New York hospitals, Rabbi Potasnik always acted immediately and accomplished the impossible.

Leave our rabbis alone.

(This was originally published on July 10 by the Times of Israel in its blog section.)