Israel’s chief rabbi proposes amending Law of Return to safeguard country’s Jewish identity

Granting citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent endangers the Jewish character of the state, said David Lau.


The Knesset should amend the Law of Return to curb non-Jewish immigration to Israel, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau of Israel urged.

Lau, speaking at the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries in New York, argued against the current law under which anyone with a Jewish grandparent is eligible for automatic Israeli citizenship

According to halacha, Jewish law, only converts and those with a Jewish mother are Jews.

“For 10 years I have been asking to try to change this mistake of the third generation in the Law of Return—to fix it, to ensure that Israel will be a Jewish state, a state of Jews,” said Lau at an event in New Jersey on Sunday night.

“I have had the honor in the past year of being the emissary of the rebbe [Chabad Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson] and to continue in his great footsteps of ensuring that conversion will be done in accordance with Jewish law,” he said.