Religious Zionists of America to invite Lau after contentious vote

"[T]ime for religious Zionists to work with new chief rabbis."

Rabbi David Lau 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Rabbi David Lau 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Religious Zionists of America will be the first American Jewish organization to invite new Ashkenazi chief rabbi David Lau to the US since his election last Wednesday, RZA’s chairman, attorney Martin Oliner, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
Lau reached out to Jews around the world in an interview in Friday’s Post. He said he intends to use his position to unite not only Jews in Israel but also the Jewish people all around the world.
Oliner is close to Tzohar founder Rabbi David Stav, who lost to Lau in the election.
But the RZA chairman said it was time for religious Zionists in Israel and America to work together with Lau and newly elected Sephardi chief rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.
“It would have been nice to have Rabbi Stav as chief rabbi, but we need to embrace Rabbi Lau and move on,” Oliner said.
“Rabbi Lau has not been welcomed in the Zionist community and it’s a mistake. We will be welcoming to Rabbi Yosef and Rabbi Lau, who will continue a great tradition.”
The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox rabbis in North America, issued a statement congratulating Lau and Yosef on their election, calling them both “accomplished Torah scholars and men whose ways are those of pleasantness and peace.”
RCA’s president, Rabbi Leonard Matanky, said his organization “looked forward to working with the new chief rabbis and welcomed opportunities to learn from them and to share with them the the RCA’s experiences in engaging Jews, from all backgrounds, in the eternal conversations of Torah.”
The Orthodox Union wished both chief rabbis well and expressed the organization’s willingness to cooperate closely with them as they strive to educate the Jewish people in the values of Torah.
“We are confident that they will bring their considerable talents to bear on resolving the pressing problems which confront our people,” the OU said.
“We pray that they are successful in healing the divisiveness from which we suffer.
We look forward to their tenure with great hope and eagerly anticipate working closely with both of them in achieving the glorious visions of peace, brotherhood and authentic spirituality which were set forward by our prophets.”