Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Chief Rabbi Denies Knowing Of Diaspora Rabbi Blacklist’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said in a letter that he did not know of the existence of a blacklist of Diaspora rabbis and that it should not have been released to the public.

“The Chief Rabbi was shocked to discover this list. This was done without the rabbi’s knowledge or his agreement. How can a list like this be publicized without the rabbi being made aware of the list itself or of its publication?” read the letter written by an aide on behalf of Lau and issued Sunday.

The list of 160 rabbis from 24 countries, including the United States and Canada, and including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, was released to JTA and other news outlets over the weekend by Itim, a nonprofit that guides Israelis through the country’s religious bureaucracy.

According to a JTA tally of the 66 U.S. rabbis on the list, at least one-fifth are Orthodox, including  several prominent Orthodox rabbis and one alumnus of the Baltimore haredi Orthodox seminary Ner Yisroel. The vast majority of U.S. rabbis on the list are Reform or Conservative.

In Sunday’s letter, Lau ordered Chief Rabbinate Director-General Moshe Dagan to call in  Rabbi Itamar Tubul, who kept and released the list, for questioning and a reprimand.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.