UK Orthodox 'didn’t ask Metzger chief rabbi job'

Metzger spokesman said offer was made by influential member of Anglo-Jewish community with “close ties to royal family.”

December 14, 2011 07:07
1 minute read.
Outpouring of love. Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Noam Schalit at Tisha Be’av prayers.

Metzger 311. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)


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The United Synagogue of the UK has denied that any offer was made to Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger to fill the position of UK chief rabbi, which will open up when Rabbi Jonathan Sacks steps down next year.

It was reported earlier this week by Israel HaYom that Metzger had been offered the post by a senior member of the Anglo-Jewish community.

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“I am taken aback by the suggestion that there has been any kind of ‘offer’ made to anybody in this regard,” said Stephen Pack, president of the United Synagogue, in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday.

“An enormous amount of effort has gone into creating a process that is designed to transparently produce the best possible range of candidates for this world-leading role, and nobody involved in this process has, or could ever, make such an offer,” Pack concluded.

Metzger’s office claimed earlier that that an offer had been made, but said that since Metzger has another year-and-a-half remaining as chief rabbi in Israel, he was not entertaining any offers for future employment at the moment.

A spokesman for Metzger said that the offer was made by an influential member of the Anglo-Jewish community with “close ties to the royal family.”

The claim was widely derided by several community insiders in the UK.

The process to appoint the new chief rabbi is somewhat complicated and involves three bodies set up by the United Synagogue: a working group to review applications and interview candidates; a consulting group to review and approve the selected candidate; and a representative group of the Chief Rabbi’s Council including numerous community leaders, which will have general oversight over the entire process.

It was stressed by a leading community representative that no one with any authority could ever have made an offer to any rabbi on behalf of the United Synagogue.

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