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
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
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
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.
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
The senior haredi rabbinic leadership and the United Torah
Judaism party have yet to decide upon a candidate to support.
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
The Attorney-General’s Office announced on Monday night that it was
authorizing Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar to nominate all 10 delegates
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
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.