shear yashuv cohen.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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
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.