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Jerusalem - After 11 Years, Date Set For Election Of Chief Rabbis Of Jerusalem

Published on: August 31, 2014 05:02 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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File photo of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. EPA/YOSSI ZAMIR File photo of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. EPA/YOSSI ZAMIR

Jerusalem - After more than a decade without a municipal chief rabbi, a date for the election of two new Jerusalem chief rabbis was set on Sunday for October 21.

Rabbi Yitzhak Kolitz stepped down from his post as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in 2002 due to ill health and died in 2003 aged 81, while former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shalom Mashash died the same year aged 95.
The elections have been held up for over ten years due to legal wrangling over how to elect candidates for the position.

In the last 12 months the remaining legal battles have been completed and the five-member electoral committee, which includes Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, was able to convene on Sunday and establish the new date for the election.

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The committee also approved the composition of the 48-member electoral panel which will elect the two chief rabbis in October.

The body comprises 24 representatives from the Jerusalem Municipal Council, the delegates of 12 synagogues from city, and 12 representatives chosen by the Minister of Religious Services, a position formally held by Bayit Yehudi chairman and Minister for the Economy Naftali Bennett.

Every party in the municipal council gets at least one representative with the remaining delegates allocated according to the size of the party in the council.

Barkat’s Jerusalem will Succeed party has 3 votes; the Hitoerurt party has 3; Yerushalmim and United Jerusalem led by Arye King both have 1 and were allocated a third, jointly-agreed representative; Likud has 1, the Paz party has 1; Bayit Yehudi has 1; Meretz has 1; the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism party has 6; the Sepahrdi haredi Shas party has six and another, hardline, haredi party called Bnei Torah has 1.

The strongest candidate for the position of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi is Rabbi Arye Stern, 69, a prominent and respected figure in the national-religious community. He has had the backing from the national-religious community to be its candidate since 2009 and his campaign team have voiced confidence that he will succeed in gaining the 25 votes from the electoral panel required to be elected.

It is unclear which other candidates will stand against him, although Rabbi Eliyahu Schlesinger, who serves as municipal rabbi for the capita’s Gilo neighborhood, is a possible candidate for the haredi parties.

A clear candidate for the Sephardi position is not yet clear. Former Sepahrdi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has been frequently linked to the job although associates close to him have denied his interest in the role on more than one occasion.

Rabbi Eliyahu Abergil of the capital’s Baka neighborhood received a promise from late Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that he would be the party’s candidate for the job. Since then, however, Abergil has accepted nomination to the state Supreme Rabbinical Court and has therefore theoretically dropped out of the race for the time being – though he has yet to be confirmed by the Selection Committee for Rabbinical Judges.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post



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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 31, 2014 at 06:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Who cares???

2

 Aug 31, 2014 at 10:52 PM Godol-Hador Says:

With the nepotism and dirty politics prevalent in today's cheif rabbinate I'm surprised that no kolel avrech grandchild of Rabbi's Lau and Yosef are not in the running.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely

3

 Aug 31, 2014 at 11:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Who cares???

Every frum yid in Yerushalayim cares. As the chief rav, their psak on any matter will become the operative guideline for all since his views on matters ranging from kashruth to gittin to keushin will trump the views of all the other rabbonim.

4

 Sep 01, 2014 at 01:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Every frum yid in Yerushalayim cares. As the chief rav, their psak on any matter will become the operative guideline for all since his views on matters ranging from kashruth to gittin to keushin will trump the views of all the other rabbonim.

I talked to many frum yiddin in Yerushalayim and they don’t care,
they say this position should be eliminated

5

 Sep 01, 2014 at 10:42 AM Mayer Says:

Frum yidden have their Chief Rabbi, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss Shlita

6

 Sep 01, 2014 at 11:12 AM Mayer Says:

A compromise candidate is the Bostoner Rebbe of Har Nof Shlita who appeals to the Mizrachi and modern communities as well as the Sephardim; he was very close to Rav Ovadia zt"l. Problem is that he is persona non grata with the haredim.

7

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