Alan Dershowitz 521.
(photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
US attorney Alan Dershowitz is asking President Shimon Peres to intervene in the
case of the apparent blacklisting of Rabbi Avi Weiss by the Chief
The rabbinate recently rejected a letter by Weiss vouching for
the Jewish credentials of an American couple seeking to wed in Israel (the
rabbinate requires a letter from an Orthodox rabbi certifying one’s Jewishness
in cases of non-Israelis seeking to immigrate or marry in Israel).
the spiritual leader of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and founder of
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, has been the subject of controversy in recent years for
pushing the envelope when it comes to ordaining Orthodox women as
After learning that his credentials were being challenged by the
rabbinate, Weiss penned an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post earlier this month
calling on Israel to end the rabbinate’s “monopoly on religious dictates of the
Dershowitz said “Weiss is one of the foremost modern open
Orthodox rabbis in America and one of the strongest advocates anywhere for the
State of Israel.
“As a person – I am deeply saddened by the pubic shaming
of my friend, Rabbi Avraham Weiss, the leader of a flagship Orthodox
“As a Jew – I understand that today, more than ever before,
there is a chasm between the Jews of the United States and the religious
institutions in Israel.
“I call upon the leaders of Israel to first
understand that there is a serious problem which demands attention, and to
understand that they mustn’t bend to baseless religious tyranny.”
this week the Chief Rabbinate said it does not have a list of Diaspora rabbis
whose testimony it accepts on clarifying one’s Jewish or marital
Responding to a request made in September by the Tzohar
rabbinical organization to see such a list, a spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate
told the Post that “no list exists either hidden or public.”
report, which appeared Monday, the spokesman said every request made
for clarification of Jewish and marital status “is examined individually and
Tzohar says an increasing number of Jewish couples from
North America have had difficulty in registering upcoming marriages with the
Chief Rabbinate because the testimony of their communal rabbis was not
recognized.Sam Sokol contributed to this report.
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