Rav Pinchas Goldschmidt, who left Russia after refusing to express support for the war in Ukraine, has been formally removed from his 29-year tenure as the chief rabbi of Moscow, JTA reported.
The Moscow Jewish Religious Society, which represents Rav Goldschmidts’s former congregation and office, told the Russian news outlet RBC on Wednesday that Rav Goldschmidt no longer has a role there, although he has not been fired.
“The contract has ended…there is no question of successors, perhaps there will be none,” Olga Yessaulova, a spokesperson for the group, told RBC.
A source with knowledge of the community told JTA that the community did not renew Rav Goldschmidt’s contract partially out of safety concerns.
JTA spoke with Rav Goldschmidt but he chose not to discuss the events that led him to leave Russia.
“As I say goodbye to Moscow and Russia, I am thinking especially of one man: Albert Reichmann, who proposed me for the post of chief rabbi and who had faith in me that I would be able to fulfill that great responsibility,” he said.
“I am leaving a community in distress. But from the outside, I will do my utmost to help my beloved community.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)