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The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY MICHAEL DAVENTRY BY JC REPORTER

GE­ORGE SOROS’S Open So­ci­ety Foun­da­tion will cease all ac­tiv­i­ties in Tur­key after the bil­lion­aire in­vestor was sin­gled out for crit­i­cism by Pre­siMNW] @NûNY BKāāRY 4[MXĔKW

The 4÷Úú G^û[c\ ñRúWÚ said it would seek to legally wind up its op­er­a­tions be­cause the “in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of base­less claims and un­re­strained spec­u­la­tion in the me­dia had made it im­pos­si­ble for the foun­da­tion to con­tinue R]\ XYN[K]RXW\²

7W K \YNNûQ UK\] ÿNNT ;[ 4[MXĔKW al­leged that Mr Soros was fund­ing a cam­paign to re­lease Os­man Kavala, a busi­ness­man in cus­tody since last year ac­cused of con­spir­ing to top­ple the govern­ment dur­ing mass protests RW " !#

“Be­hind [Kavala] is the fa­mous HunPK[RKW 8Nÿ AX[X\ ² ;[ 4[MXĔKW \KRM RW a speech to lo­cal govern­ment lead­ers XW öNMWN\MKā ±BQR\ R\ K VKW ÿR]Q KW abun­dance of money who as­signs peoYUN ]X MRþRMN WK]RXW\ KWM \QK]]N[ ]QNV ²

Fol­low­ing his re­marks, a num­ber of news­pa­pers close to Tur­key’s gov­ern­ing party claimed Mr Soros had il­lic­itly used the foun­da­tion to chan­nel over­seas funds in sup­port of an­tiPXþN[WVNW] Kû]RþR]RN\ ÿR]QRW B^[TNā

But the foun­da­tion’s Turk­ish branch said in its state­ment on Mon­day that all its over­seas do­na­tions had been re­ported to and ap­proved by the [NUNþKW] \]K]N [^W KPNWûā

The same agency de­tailed the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion of those funds in its an­nual re­port ev­ery June, the foun­da­tion KMMNM

IS­RAEL’S CHIEF Rab­binate has a struck a deal with a body of Euro­pean rab­bis to recog­nise each other’s con­ver­sions — a move that could af­fect thou­sands of Jewish con­verts across ]QN òXW]RWNW]

Un­der the agree­ment, the Con­fer­ence of Euro­pean Rab­bis (CER), an Ortho­dox um­brella body, will be­come the sole au­thor­ity recog­nised in Is­rael OX[ 8NÿR\Q ûXWþN[\RXW RW 4^[XYN

In re­turn, the Euro­pean rab­bis will not recog­nise pri­vate con­ver­sions ÿR]QRW 7\[KNU

Chief Rabbi Pin­chas Gold­schmidt, the CER’s pres­i­dent, wel­comed the agree­ment: “Con­ver­sions have al­ways been an im­por­tant is­sue and we need global stan­dards to en­sure that those who have al­ready con­verted are able to travel freely through­out the JewR\Q ÿX[UM

“This is an im­por­tant step to­wards that goal and we are proud that, as a re­sult of this de­ci­sion, we are closer to a stronger and more united global 8NÿR\Q ûXVV^WR]ā ²

The CER said it had al­ways ac­cepted Is­raeli con­ver­sions but that it was “in­cred­i­bly sig­nif­i­cant” that the Chief Rab­binate would only send its rab­bis to Europe with the CER’s con­sent be­cause it al­lowed Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ties to con­trol their own con­ver\RXW\ BQN K[[KWPNVNW] ÿRUU KU\X KUUXÿ Euro­pean Ortho­dox con­verts to en­joy

in limbo with con­ver­sions recogWR\NM Lā \XVN KWM WX] X]QN[\

“We need mu­tual recog­ni­tion of all con­ver­sions that meet the ba­sic ha­lachic re­quire­ments — and a Jewish state whose re­li­gious author­i­ties recXPWR\N KUU \][NKV\ XO 8^MKR\V ²

Is­rael does have Re­form and Ma­sorti con­ver­sion author­i­ties, but a re­port or­dered by Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu found th­ese pro­grammes “rarely seek to have their con­ver­sion [NûXPWR\NM Lā ]QN EòQRNOG @KLLRWK]N²

PHOTO: MICHAEL WUERTENBERG

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