The State Attorney’s office announced on Thursday that it was considering
indicting former Sephardi chief Rabbi Bakshi Doron for his part in the affair
known as the “rabbis case.”
In November 2007, 10 indictments were handed
down over the incident, in which 1,500 members of the IDF and police force
received false certificates of rabbinic ordination entitling them to an extra
NIS 2,000 to NIS 4,000 a month in wages. The allegations against Doron relate to
his activities during his tenure as Sephardi chief rabbi from 1998 to
At that time, a Higher Religious Education diploma accompanied by
rabbinic ordination enabled security personnel to receive additional pay of NIS
2,000 to NIS 4,000 a month. Numerous educational facilities were set up to train
security personnel as rabbis, and students at these schools were ordained by the
Chief Rabbinate, making them eligible for the salary benefits.
seminaries where the studies took place received registration fees for the
classes, and the security personnel studied for five to 10 hours a week for a
period of one to two-and-a-half years at most, but received certification that
they had taken a five-year yeshiva program, enabling them to receive the pay
At the time of the initial investigation, Doron was called to give
evidence by the police, including one investigation under caution, but the State
Attorney’s Office decided not to indict him owing to doubt over the extent of
his involvement in the fraud.
During the prosecution of the court case
against the 10 suspects initially indicted, Doron was called to give
According to the State Attorney’s Office, the case against
Doron has been reopened because elements of his court testimony allegedly
contradicted evidence he gave during the initial investigation.
to the allegations, in response to requests from security service personnel,
Doron instructed the director of the Department for Examinations and Ordination
of the Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Yitzhak Ohana, to issue them with the Higher
Religious Education diploma and the ordination that came with it.
State Attorney’s Office alleges that Doron had these certificates issued, even
though he had reservations about providing them to the security forces
personnel, and knew that the students in question did not meet the required
standards for the certification, were not entitled to them, and that they were
only being requested to receive the wage benefits accompanying the
Doron also allegedly instructed Ohana to turn a blind eye
and not to be strict regarding the criteria required to receive the
Material from the investigation, the State Attorney’s Office
alleged, showed that Doron participated in the fraud to maintain his status
within the Council of the Chief Rabbinate and because of his desire to avoid
confrontation with central figures on the Council and the rabbinical figures who
operated and gave their patronage to the colleges where the security forces
Approximately 1,500 certificates of Higher Religious
Education were issued under the instructions of Doron, through Ohana, from 1999
The salary supplements claimed by security forces personnel who
received the certificates mounted up to hundreds of millions of shekels, the
State Attorney’s Office said.
Hundreds of millions more would have been
claimed during the remainder of their service and in pensions claims.