Home News International These 10 rabbis in Canada made Israel’s chief rabbinate’s ‘blacklist’

These 10 rabbis in Canada made Israel’s chief rabbinate’s ‘blacklist’

Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau

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.

  • Jeff

    this is incredible

  • Rex Humbard

    Are these rabbis Reform? Conservative? Orthodox? Reconstructionist? Renewal? Roman Catholic? Muslim? Greek Orthodox? A number appear to be Orthodox. Which shuls do they serve or have they served? Scheier has posted a lengthy reaction on Facebook. I wonder what was in it. And I wonder what the other rabbis listed have to say about being on the blacklist.

    • Jeff

      it includes rabbis from all denominations including very prominent community leaders

  • Jeff

    maybe Rabbi Lau is a fake rabbi

  • There is no blacklist, and shame on Rabbi Farber for using that explosive term at a time when Diaspora-Israel relations are so tense.

    A close look at the facts shows “blacklist” to be a wholly inappropriate term:


    • Jeff

      what would you call it

  • Gabriel Nachman Kretzmer Seed

    I saw a copy of the original list before it was taken down, and Rabbi Steven Saltzman z”l and Rabbi David Seed were also on it.

  • rebaaron

    If I were one of them, my first reaction would be to ask why.