El Al lays off its chief rabbi

Shas spiritual leader's son working to get Katzir, former IAF rabbi, reinstated.

January 16, 2007 18:43
1 minute read.
el al jet plane taking off 298 aj

el al plane 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


Just two weeks after El Al placated haredi rancor over Shabbat desecration, the nation's airline fired its veteran chief rabbi, Avshalom Katzir, over the weekend. El Al said the layoff of Lt.-Col. (res) Katzir, former deputy chief rabbi of the IDF, was part of streamlining measures. However, haredi sources in El Al said that Katzir was superfluous. "He did not help El Al in the recent negotiations with the haredim because he is a religious Zionist," said the source. "And kosher supervision of food is already taken care of by the caterers." El Al's most important point man vis-a-vis the haredim is Rabbi Yochanan Chayut, a representative of the Council for the Purity of the Camp. Chayut meets haredi customers at check-in and is responsible for seating arrangements that ensure haredi men do not sit next to women. Chayut also arranges for seating in areas without movies and for kosher food. Chayut is expected to take over for Katzir. Katzir, who held a part time position at El Al, told The Jerusalem Post that he did not know the reason for the layoff. But he verified reports that Rabbi Avraham Yosef, son of Shas's spiritual Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, was working behind the scenes to get Katzir reinstated. Avraham Yosef, now chief rabbi of Holon, was Katzir's deputy when Katzir served as chief rabbi of the IAF. However, sources in El Al said that during a friendly meeting between El Al CEO Haim Romano and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef three days ago, Yosef, who already knew about Katzir's layoff, did not try to convince Romano to backtrack. "All he said was that Katzir should be treated respectfully," said the El Al source.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town