ADL protests chief rabbinate’s rejection of credentials of US Orthodox rabbis

Rabbinical Council of America and Chief Rabbinate in advanced discussions on deal to end the controversy.

January 7, 2014 19:37
1 minute read.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.

Haredim lots of haredim 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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The Anti-Defamation League sent a letter on Monday to Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef to express concern over the Chief Rabbinate’s recent rejection of Rabbi Avi Weiss’s credentials, and alleged that there were possibly another 10 similar cases.

In October, the rabbinate refused to authorize Weiss, a respected Orthodox rabbi from New York, to give testimony on the Jewish and marital status of former congregants wishing to register for marriage in Israel.

ADL national chairman Barry Curtiss-Lusher and the organization’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said that as an organization committed to “the well-being of Jews everywhere and to a strong relationship between the US and Israel, we write to express our concern and disappointment in the way the Chief Rabbinate is dealing with Rabbi Avi Weiss.”

“Your questioning his status as an Orthodox rabbi in challenging his affirmation of the Jewishness of a couple looking to marry is disturbing on its own. Even more disturbing are indications that this is part of a developing trend, as reports are emerging that there may be as many as 10 long-established Orthodox rabbis who may be treated the same way as Rabbi Weiss,” they continued.

The letter called on the Chief Rabbinate to “reverse this trend and truly begin a process to unite, rather than divide, the Jewish people.”

The Jerusalem Post understands that the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America, the primary US organization involved in the spat, are in advanced talks to reach a deal on the issue.

The RCA would like to reach a situation in which it would be able to authorize the testimony of members of its association, which would then automatically be approved by the Chief Rabbinate.

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