Polish man acting as Jewish leader from Israel found to be imposter rabbi

Jacoob Ben Nistell, aka Yaakav — he used different forms of the name — admitted two weeks ago during an interview that he is not a rabbi.

By JTA
April 21, 2016 17:46
1 minute read.
polish rabbi

The man posing as Rabbi Jacoob Ben Nistell, from Haifa, Israel, is found to actuallky be Jacek Niszczota from Poland. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WARSAW, Poland — A rabbi in Poland embraced as a Jewish community’s spiritual leader actually is not a rabbi, a Polish journalist uncovered.

Jacoob Ben Nistell, aka Yaakav — he used different forms of the name — admitted two weeks ago during an interview that he is not a rabbi. He has served for several years in Poznan, in west-central Poland.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Krzysztof Kazmierczak, a reporter for Glos Wielkopolski, or The Voice of Greater Poland, discovered that the alleged rabbi in fact is Jacek Niszczota and comes from Ciechanow, a town in north-central Poland. Niszczota had claimed he was from Haifa; it was unclear if he ever lived in or even visited Israel.

The deception was not discovered by the board of the Poznan branch of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland.

“I’m surprised. I never checked his identity document,” Alicja Kobus, head of the Poznan Jewish community and vice-president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told Glos Wielkopolski. “He said he comes from Haifa, his mother still lives there, and he has an Israeli passport and a son in the army. I believed that he is who he says he is because of how he looked and that he was able to pray in Hebrew and knew Jewish customs.”

As the rabbi, Niszczota led activities about Judaism for children and young people. He also participated in ecumenical prayer services with Polish bishops, and held interfaith meetings with priests and imams on behalf of the Ponzan Jewish community.

Niszczota refused to comment to reporters about the hoax.


Related Content

Dubi Haiyun in front of the President's residence, July 19, 2018
July 21, 2018
Anger in Jewish world grows over detention of Conservative rabbi

By JEREMY SHARON