Conversion before Aliyah

April 11, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The Maslus project, designed to allow candidates eligible for Aliyah to begin their conversion studies in their countries of origin, has been launched in Kiev and Moscow funded by the Triguboff Institute headed by Sydney property mogul Harry Triguboff.

Lessons in progress Photo: Triguboff Institute

Lessons in progress Photo: Triguboff Institute

More than 40 students in two classes have begun their studies in Moscow this week, with 30 more in Kiev set to begin their studies in two additional classes.

The project is aimed towards enabling Jews who are not recognized by the Halacha but are eligible for Aliyah, to use the time span between their decision to make Aliyah and its execution, by taking a special course which will prepare them for their conversion process in Israel. The course was designed according to the curriculum of the ‘Nativ’ National center of identity and conversion in Israel and is approved by the center. According to estimates, the time span between the decision to make Aliyah and its execution is, usually,  between half a year and over a year.

‘Maslus’ is a project led by the ‘Triguboff Institute’, named after Australian-Jewish businessman, Harry Oscar Triguboff and is done in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, the Jewish community of Choral Synagogue in Moscow, the Midrasha Zionit in Kiev and the ‘Nativ’ national center for identity and conversion in Israel.

The conclusive goal of the project is to prevent a situation in which the Olim who are not recognized as Jewish by the Halacha, are forced, along with their  spouse, to complete 400 hours of conversion studies in Israel, needed in order to address the state conversion program, a demand which is technically impossible for them to perform due to their daily schedule and their daily struggle with the everyday life in Israel. As mentioned, ‘Maslul’ participants will be able to study the majority of the curriculum right in their countries of origin, significantly shortening their conversion preparation process in Israel.


Preparing for conversion Photo: Triguboff Institute

The project was first declared last October in Kiev, with the participation of Mr. Triguboff and in Moscow on January this year. In order to actively launch it project coordinators seminars and preparation programs were conducted in Moscow and Kiev a month ago, with the participation of Rabbis from Israel, specializing in preparing conversion candidates.

Along with the assistance towards the conversion the project coordinators in Kiev and Moscow will also assist the eligible Olim who are recognized by the Halacha with their Judaism inquiry process. The goal is to also save time in this field by having the eligible Olim prepare their Judaism inquiry file right in their country of origin, allowing them easier access to local archives and family documents, handing them to the rabbinical court right after they arrive in Israel, in order to regulate their status of Judaism.

Shalom Norman, of the Triguboff Institute, adds that “Our institution has targeted the struggle to regulate the personal status of the FSU Olim in Israel as its main goal. ‘Maslul’ is aimed to solve this problem before it starts and additionally contribute to the smooth integration of the Olim in Israel. Today of all days, when the number of immigrants from Russia and The Ukraine is on the rise and the struggles of the 90’s are coming up again, such a project such as this required. The idea of this new project is to use the Olim’s high motivation towards their Aliyah before it cools down, which often happens once they arrive in Israel and learn about the dividing political debate about the issues of Religion and state”

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