The Conversion Blacklist - Bios

Sharona Margolin Halickman made aliya in August 2004 from Riverdale, NY. She has a BA in Judaic Studies and an MS in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. Prior to making aliya, Sharona served as the first Madricha Ruchanit at The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale with Rabbi Avi Weiss where she was involved in teaching numerous female converts. Sharona lives in Jerusalem and is the founder and director of Torat Reva Yerushalayim www.toratreva.org, a non-profit organization that provides Torah study groups to students of all ages and backgrounds. Sharona is also a member of Beit Hillel.

 

Bethany Mandel is a stay-at-home mother and writer. She is a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward and a Senior Contributor at the Federalist. The daughter of a Jewish father and Catholic mother, Bethany converted in 2011 under the auspices of the Washington D.C. Beit Din and the RCA. After her sponsoring Rabbi, Bernard Freundel, was arrested, she authored a viral blog post for the Times of Israel, A Bill of Rights for Jewish converts in 2014. Later that year she was named by the RCA to a panel to re-evaluate conversion standards. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Seth and their three children.

 

Rabbi Chuck Davidson is a leading expert in the Halakhic aspects of conversion to Judaism. A protege of Rabbi Haim Amsalem, Rabbi Davidson is among the founders of Giyur KeHalakha (a network of Orthodox conversion courts working independently of Israel's Chief Rabbinate) and Ahavat HaGer (an international conversion court under the leadership of Rabbi Amsalem). Rabbi Davidson has headed or participated in conversion courts in Israel, the United States, Russia, Brazil and Finland.

 

Einat Hurvitz is the director of iRep, JFNA's Israel Religious Expression Platform whose mission is to promote sustainable change to the religion and state status quo by education, awareness raising and support for Israeli civil society. Einat’s professional experience has centered primarily on advancing religious pluralism and equality in Israel. Einat argued many cases in the Supreme Court including a petition against segregation between men and women in public buses; right of women to pray at the Western Wall holy site; recognition of Reform and Conservative conversion to Judaism; petitions to bring to justice State Rabbi that incites against the Arab citizens; recognition by the State of non-orthodox Rabbis and freedom of marriage for all Israelis.