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Conversion rules

Rabbi Jonathan Blass12 Nisan 5766
879
Question
I am writing to ask if a mother and daughter can convert at the same yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael? If the mother and daughter convert are they no longer related? I would also like to know whether there is an age limit on conversion in the Orthodox community? How many letters should a potential convert bring to Israel to prove that she has been involved in a Orthodox community?
Answer
In Eretz Yisrael, conversion to Judaism is done through the rabbinical courts - official government institutions - and not by individual rabbis or private yeshivas. Potential converts must enroll in a course of study that prepares them for their conversion. In order for the potential convert to be allowed to stay in Israel for the amount of time required for the course (about one year), he must arrive with the proper visa. I suggest that you write to The Council of Young Israel Rabbis, 42 Agrippas St., Jerusalem to receive practical advice as to how to deal with the requirements of the Ministry of the Interior and of the rabbinical courts. A mother and daughter who become Jewish remain related in the sense that obligations of respect that were due the mother before conversion remain after conversion as well (Shu"t Iggrot Moshe Yoreh Deah II 130).
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