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Reform Leader Bounced From Knesset Debate

The head of the Reform movement in Israel was ejected from a discussion on state funding for non-Orthodox rabbis.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, director of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, was thrown out of Tuesday’s debate in the Knesset Finance Committee for speaking out of turn and using aggressive language, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. He was ejected by the head of the panel, Moshe Gafni of the United Torah Judaism Party, who called non-Orthodox rabbis “clowns” and said they “did not exist.”

Late last month, the Israeli government agreed to begin paying some non-Orthodox rabbis and recognizing them as community leaders in response to a Supreme Court lawsuit. The non-Orthodox rabbis will receive their salaries through the Culture and Sports Ministry rather than the Religious Services Ministry, which funds Orthodox rabbis, in order to prevent the resignation of Minister for Religious Services Yaakov Margi of the haredi Orthodox Shas party.

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