French chief rabbi steps down over plagiarism affair

April 11, 2013 16:02


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French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim handed in his resignation on Thursday after he admitted that he had committed plagiarism and claimed unearned academic titles, French newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The board met in Paris to hear his decision, and lauded his decision as "courageous."

Bernheim is usually introduced as an “agrégé,” a sort of “doctor,” a prestigious academic title obtained by civil servants in competitive tests.

In Who’s Who, in biographies and in an official book of the Consistoire central des Juifs de France, which administers religious services, the title agrégé of philosophy always appears under Bernheim’s name.

Now, two weeks after French media launched the so-called Bernheim affair, Bernheim finally admitted he did not obtain an agrégation in philosophy, explaining that he had suffered an injury just before he was supposed to sit for the exam, and that “personal tragedy” prevented him from taking it.

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