J'lem DA closes file on Haifa chief rabbi corruption case

She’ar-Yashuv Cohen announces he will step down from all public positions.

May 2, 2011 05:47
1 minute read.
J'lem DA closes file on Haifa chief rabbi corruption case

shear yashuv cohen. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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 analysis 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


The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office informed Haifa’s Chief Rabbi She’ar- Yashuv Cohen on Sunday that they were closing the file against him, after the rabbi announced that he would cease from holding a public position.

Three years ago, 83-year-old Cohen was summoned for a hearing by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office after been suspected of involvement in a corruption ring, in which thousands of police, Prisons Service and IDF soldiers allegedly received wage increases based on falsified documents that certified them as rabbis.

Police were investigating claims that rabbis approved certificates stating that students had attended five years of yeshiva study, when in fact they only spent a few hours a week over two years, in unrecognized colleges.

Those certificates, once approved by the Chief Rabbinate, earned their bearers monthly wage increases of up to NIS 4,000 for nearly half a decade, robbing the state of hundreds of millions of shekels.

The prosecution has filed indictments against several dozen police officers and other security personnel. A special committee was set up in the IDF to recover the money from the fake rabbis.

According to the Justice Ministry, suspicions against Cohen dealt with a secondary case having to do with goings on that took place at the Ariel Institute, which Cohen directed.

Charges against Cohen, the chief rabbi of Haifa since 1975 and a candidate for chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Israel in 1983 and 1993, were dropped a year and a half ago, despite the prosecution’s assertion that it had sufficient evidence to indict him. At that time, Cohen said he would remove himself from his post and no longer hold public positions.

A few months ago, however, the DA’s office learned that despite his commitment, Cohen continued to serve as Haifa’s chief rabbi and in other public positions.

In February he was summoned for a hearing, ahead of which he announced he was no longer filling public positions. The rabbi also noted that he realized that if he continued in his public capacity, he would be liable to face legal action. Following the hearing and Cohen’s statement, the DA’s office decided to close the case against him.

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

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night