Ten rabbis in Canada have made the so-called “blacklist” compiled by Israel’s ultra-Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate of those rabbis it does not trust to confirm the Jewish identities of immigrants.
The list, disclosed July 10, included 160 Diaspora rabbis whose letters affirming the Jewish status of former congregants were rejected by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate in 2016.
Rabbis from 24 countries made the list.
The directive applies to marriages, which the Chief Rabbinate fully controls in Israel. Immigrants who wish to wed there must first prove they are Jewish according to Orthodox standards.
This proof often comes via a letter from a community rabbi attesting to the immigrant’s Jewish status. The rabbinate approves only those whose status as Jews it confirms.
Only hours after the blacklist was published in several news sources, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, David Lau said it was released without his approval or knowledge.
The rabbis in Canada on the list are:
Rabbi Alan Green (Conservative, Winnipeg); Rabbi Lawrence Englander (Reform, Mississauga, Ont.); Rabbi Wilfred Solomon (Conservative, formerly of Vancouver, now in Jerusalem); Rabbi Sid Schwartz; Rabbi Yossi Sapirman (Toronto); Rabbi Philip Scheim (Conservative, Toronto); Rabbi Erwin Schild (Conservative, Toronto); Rabbi Mordechai Glick (Montreal); Rabbi Wilfred Shuchat (Orthodox, Montreal) and Rabbi Adam Scheier (Orthodox, Montreal).
Rabbi Scheier’s synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal, issued a letter July 10 calling on Rabbi Lau to apologize to the synagogue, to Rabbi Scheier and to the other rabbis on the list “for publicly discrediting their rabbinic standing”; and for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to take the necessary steps to ensure that Diaspora Jewry no longer encounters systemic rejection from the Chief Rabbi’s office.”
The CJN is following the story.