April 24, 2024
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Ten Members of Rabbanut Indicted for Selling Smicha

Jerusalem–The Jerusalem Post reported last week that ten members of the rabbanut sold more than 1000 ordinations to public employees and soldiers who receive bonuses for having smicha. Among the “rabbis” are 1500 cops and prison employees, along with members of the IDF who all got between a 2,000-4,000 NIS stipend every month for having smicha.

Among indicted are Yitzhak Ohana, bureau chief to Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, former head of the examination and rabbinical ordination department of the Chief Rabbinate and Meir Rosenthal, bureau chief of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger (accused of fraud in a different case). Others are Aharon Godsdiner, deputy chief rabbi of the police, and the heads of rabbinical “colleges” in Beit She’an, Gan Ner, Haifa and Safed.

According to the case, Ohana and Rosenthal conspired to falsify records to show that applicants had taken advanced courses for at least ten hours a week for two and a half years, and that they had had at least two years of prior study in a yeshiva. Tuition was 10-20,000 NIS per certificate.

The prosecution intends to bring criminal charges against 80 more policemen, prison security employees and soldiers and press disciplinary charges against another 120. The state will stop paying the unjustified increases. A group of policemen asked for an injunction to prevent the state from ceasing payments. Their request was denied.

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