Conversion has always been a contentious matter within the Jewish community. In Israel, the US and elsewhere, the issue has caused major divisions between different sectors of the Jewish world. Other than some Conservative congregations, and the Orthodox communities, most Jews in the US are moving away from opposition to intermarriage. Meanwhile, Israel faces a major dilemma in relation to its post-Soviet immigrants, many of whom are of questionable Halachic Jewish status.
While discussion regarding conversion and intermarriage has its roots in the 19th century and early 20th century, it has become a topic of urgency in this generation.