Bennett & Livni: Only One Chief Rabbi


icrBayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett has partnered with The Movement leader Tzipi Livni on a bill intended to eliminate the post of one chief rabbi so in the future; only one chief rabbi will be elected. A single elected chief rabbi, Ashkenazi or Sephardi, will be elected as serve as head of the Chief Rabbinate Council.

The bill also stipulates that the nation’s batei din will no longer be subordinate to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel but the batei din will be an independent system. The bill would place the authority for electing the av beis din and deputy head of the batei din in the hands of the rabbonim serving on the Rabbinical Supreme Court, similar to the justices serving on the secular Supreme Court. They feel that the chief rabbi’s position demands he attend endless public functions and this is not in line with an av beis din, hence the need to divide the tasks. Bennett and Livni add that today, a chief rabbi may become the av beis din even if he lacks experience as an av beis din. The bill will avoid such a situation in the future.

Bennett feels that appointing only one chief rabbi will be a step towards increased achdus as is the case in the IDF where there is only one chief rabbi.

Livni feels that as there is only one president, one prime minister, one chief justice of the Supreme Court, there is no need for two chief rabbis.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Given that two outstanding dayanim were rejected for Chief Rabbi in the past election because their impartial work as dayanim left them without the family or political connections needed for the Chief Rabbi position, completely separating the Beit Din Elyon from the Chief Rabbinate would make sense.