Article Regarding Rabbi Eliezer Silver Denying Admission to Children of Reform Convert
THE NATIONAL JEWISH POST
Friday, September 17, 1954
Cincinnati Rabbi Clarifies Stand On Rebuff to Convert's Children
CINCINNATI (JP)--Chief Orthodox Rabbi Eliezer Silver has clarified his reason for denying two children of a converted Jewish mother admission to an Orthodox - supported Hebrew day school (JP, Aug. 20, '54).
Although his action had drawn fire from many elements of the community when first revealed, Rabbi Silver at first declined I comment. Last week he explained the reason for his actions in an exclusive interview with The Post.
"According to Jewish law, which it is my duty to interpret, the mother who was converted should have brought the papers substantiating the conversion to me, if she wanted to be recognized as a Jew. Further, she should have brought the papers to me, if she wanted her two children to go to an Orthodox parochial school, which is re-served for Jews. The woman never brought those papers to me," he said.
"Although it was not necessary for me to do the converting, it was not a proper conversion to have a Reform rabbi, who is admittedly unfamiliar with the laws governing, do it. His conversion, is therefore, invalid in my eyes.
"Frankly, I am against conversion because the Jewish law frowns upon it. Yet, there are times when nothing can be done to stop it. Under those circumstances I will accept conversion, but only when it is carried out properly and according to Jewish law. It is because of these things that I refused admittance of the two children."
It was stated by other sources that the family has since moved from the neighborhood where the parochial school is located. At their new home, it was reported, they have a rabbi come daily to give the children lessons in Judiasm.