Bukharian Rabbi Fights To Keep Post

Itzhak Yehoshua Confidently Battles Dizzying Array of Charges

Sukkah Star: Itzhak Yehoshua refuses to step down as Bukharian chief rabbi, despite being accused of a dizzying string of misdeeds.
paul berger
Sukkah Star: Itzhak Yehoshua refuses to step down as Bukharian chief rabbi, despite being accused of a dizzying string of misdeeds.

By Paul Berger

Published October 22, 2012, issue of October 26, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Alishaev, who is president of the community center, said he did not want to say whether Yehoshua had done anything wrong. But, he added, Yehoshua “does not have [the] right to speak on behalf of… the community center or the community at all.”

Several Bukharian rabbis declined to comment on Yehoshua’s removal. One insider described the episode as a “black eye” for the community.

Even those who believe the allegations against Yehoshua say — with a sigh — that he is a talented rabbi who, by guiding its initial establishment and growth, achieved great things for the community. One person said he “cried tears” over Yehoshua’s downfall.

“He’s a very great guy,” said Yehoshua supporter Arthur Shakarov, managing partner of King David, a kosher Bukharian restaurant. “I don’t know why people are telling about him so much bad stories.”

Rumors in the community circulate that Yehoshua accepted money for easy conversions. But people are vague on details.

When asked about the beit din rulings, Yehoshua would say only that he was accused of allowing a ritual slaughterer to continue practicing after he ought to have retired.

Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, one of the five rabbis from the Queens Beit Din that ruled in the matter, initially declined to give any details. Later, he said that Yehoshua performed a number of conversions that “were not proper.”

There were “other things, as well,” Steinberg added, but “we didn’t get involved in the thievery and the dishonesty.”

Yehoshua refused to attend the beit din hearings.

Instead, he went to Israel, where he persuaded former Sephardic chief rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron to investigate the Queens Beit Din ruling. In a ruling, posted on Yehoshua’s website in January Bakshi-Doron declared the Queens beit din judgment “completely illegal.”

Yehoshua “is a respectful and peaceful man and not the bloodthirsty savage whom he was wrongfully claimed to be,” Bakshi-Doron wrote.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.