The election for new Chief Rabbis of Israel is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 17 Menachem Av 5773. The voters, numbering 150 delegates, will vote in the Leonardo Jerusalem Plaza Hotel on King George Street. After casting a ballot, the voters are instructed to remain in Jerusalem in the event there is a question or a need to vote again for one reason or another so the election can be completed on Wednesday.
The question among many is who will receive the votes cast by the 13 Chabad rabbonim taking part in the election. On the one hand, Tzfas Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu is known to maintain good relations with Chabad so this may assist him in the Rishon L’Tzion race.
In the race for Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi many feel the Chabad vote will go to the son of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlita, who has always been a welcome personality in the Chabad tzibur. Most rabbonim running appear confident they will get the Chabad votes but the voters are keeping their selection close to the vest for the time being.
The Chabad-affiliated voters include;
1. Rabbi Mordechai Ashkenazi Shlita (Rav Kfar Chabad and Av Beis Din Chabad)
2. Rabbi Yochanan Gur-Aryeh (Chief Rabbi of Holon and member of the Chabad Beis Din)
3. Rabbi Moshe Havlin (Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat/Sderot
4. Rabbi Meir Suissa (A Member of the Beersheva Rabbanut)
5. Rabbi Shlomo Diskin (Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Ata)
6. Rabbi Shmuel Elitov (Chief Rabbi of Mevassert Tzion and the Binyamin Regional Council)
7. Rabbi Yosef Hecht (Chief Rabbi of Eilat and a member of the Chabad Beis Din)
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)