Close this search box.

Jerusalem Councilman Turns to State Officials Amid Alleged Corruption

corJerusalem Councilman Elad Malka on Wednesday, 28 Tammuz, turned to the Office of the State Comptroller Yosef Shapira along with Civil Service Commissioner Moshe Dayan requesting they launch an investigation into the city’s religious council, which he alleges is corrupt. According to Councilman Malka, “Even if there is no criminal activities, the council is not run in a healthy fashion”.

Earlier in the week a complaint was filed against the head of the Jerusalem Religious Council, alleging he falsified corporate documents. The complaint against David Malka, a senior religious council official, was working simultaneously as a mashgiach kashrus in a number of city businesses, in violation of regulations. Allegations against him include modifying time cards to cover up for Malka’s illegal activities.

In addition, when Jerusalem Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Stern Shilta conducted a surprise inspection, this week, he learned that the secretary of the Kashrus Department, David Malka is also working as a mashgiach in a branch of ‘Mega’ against regulations, and while taking the money, he has not visited the place since Pesach, so in essence, he is not permitted to be a mashgiach, which he was, and he was a ‘no show’, just collecting money for his assignment.

It is added that these allegations are among those mentioned in a Supreme Court petition by a growing number of restaurateurs in the capital, who are challenging the Chief Rabbinate and the state kashrus. They maintain the Jerusalem Rabbinate is corrupt, stating too often a mashgiach only comes by once monthly to collect his money but does nothing to ensure the level of kashrus. When Rav Stern was told by the store’s assistant manager, who confirmed Malka has been a ‘no show’, he launched a probe. The probe has already revealed the matter reported above in addition to widespread nepotism in the religious council and kashrus unit.

Regulations from the Ministry of Religious Services prohibit a religious council member appointing a relative as mashgiach or mifakeach (overseer of mashgiach). Scratching the service of these bodies shows widespread nepotism, indicating the head of the religious council, Yehoshua Yishai, has ignored regulations regarding many appointments. There are many brothers and cousins employed in various capacities in the council and kashrus department.

Some examples include a relative Yehoshua Yishai appointing relatives as mashgichim in the city as well as the secretary of the kashrus department, David Malka. Elad Malka adds that two brothers of David Malka are mashgichim, and a brother-in-law is a mashgiach while serving in the IDF, another paid ‘no show’.

Rabbi Stern’s office has been working tenaciously to break what appears to be widespread corruption in the city’s religious services, perhaps validating accusations that during the over ten years the city did not have chief rabbis, the religious council and kashrus services were overrun with corruption.

It is added that Kashrus unit secretary David Malka also collects a salary as mashgiach, albeit illegally and not bothering to show up to do his job. It has also been learned that Rabbi Stern’s requests for lists of employees and job appointments been met with cover-ups and partial information, hoping to hide the truth from him.

Rabbi Stern is also probing allegations that one honest mashgiach who reported some of the unacceptable practices taking place to him has since been dismissed from most of the restaurants he was supervising, significantly cutting his livelihood, an apparent act of retaliation.

It has also been learned that after the head of the religious council learned that Rabbi Stern’s bureau chief, Avinoam Kushner, was launching a probe into alleged corruption, Yehoshua Yishai ordered the personnel in the kashrus department not to cooperate and those responding to inquiries would have to respond to him. (YWN-ISRAEL has that WhatsApp conversation on record). Apparently Yehoshua Yishai feels Rabbi Stern is not entitled to know who the city’s mashgichim are. It is also reported that it has been most difficult speaking with Yishai on his phone since this case broke, leaving many to believe he fears his phones may be tapped.

Rabbi Stern has been keeping the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Jerusalem Mayor, the Minister of Religious Services and others in the loop as the case unfolds, pointing to widespread corruption.

When asked to comment, David Malka told the media his is unaware of any complaint or investigation against him. He denies any knowledge of the allegations being leveled against him. Malka also told Walla News that some of his relatives working in the department were employed before his arrival.

Yehoshua Yishai states Councilman Elad Malka regularly involves the media, even before he can substantiate allegations. “He should have turned to the appropriate people to handle the matter. Regarding the letter, Malka recycles things published prior to the elections. Now I got the letter and if there is something in need of repair, it will be fixed. I will make sure they are no conflicts of interest”.

In a directly related matter, authorities are checking Rabbi Stern’s office fearing it is being bugged by some of the people under investigation.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts