Grossman won’t run for chief rabbi position

Rabbi Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, chief rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek in Galilee, makes it known that he will not be running for chief rabbi.

June 25, 2013 00:47
2 minute read.
Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman

Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman 370. (photo credit: Israel Bardogo)

Rabbi Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, the founder of the Migdal Ohr social guidance and educational network and chief rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek in the Galilee, made it known that he would not be running for the position of chief rabbi.

Grossman, a Pinsk-Karlin hassid who is greatly respected for his work with disadvantaged youth, was considered by many to have been a shoe-in for Ashkenazi chief rabbi had he decided to run because of his cross-sector appeal.

It was believed that along with haredi support on the 150-member electoral committee for the chief rabbis, he would have also enjoyed the backing of non-religious mayors and regional council chairmen who are prominent on the panel.

It was reported Monday that Grossman’s decision, taken after consultation with two leading haredi rabbis, was made out of a desire to protect the Migdal Ohr charitable network from any injury that his appointment as chief rabbi could cause it.

Grossman’s possible candidacy was seen as an extremely serious threat by chief rabbi candidate Rabbi David Stav and those running his campaign, because of Grossman’s popular appeal.

For the moment, Grossman’s announcement leaves just Rabbi David Lau, chief rabbi of Modi’in and Stav as declared candidates. Rabbi Ya’acov Shapira, dean of the nationalreligious Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem is considering running.

The senior haredi rabbinic leadership and the United Torah Judaism party have yet to decide upon a candidate to support.

Separately, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has informed the Attorney General’s Office that he will not exercise his prerogative to nominate delegates to the chief rabbi electoral committee.

The serving chief rabbis are empowered to nominate a combined total of 10 delegates to the 150-member body but owing to the current police investigation into Metzger for financial improprieties, Metzger’s attorneys informed the attorney-general that he would not be doing so.

The Attorney-General’s Office announced on Monday night that it was authorizing Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar to nominate all 10 delegates alone.

Amar had until recently been hoping to stand for reelection but a bill designed to change the law allowing him to do so was vetoed by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and nixed by party chairman Arye Deri.

It has been speculated that with this increased influence, Amar will seek to avenge himself on Shas by nominating delegates who will not heed instructions from Yosef or the party on who to vote for in the coming election, scheduled for July 24.

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