Jerusalem Rabbinate Election Continues to Heat Up


vote2.jpgThe upcoming election of new chief rabbis of Yerushalayim, Ashkenazi and Sephardi, is a source of tension in all communities, chareidi, dati leumi and secular. The dati leumi and secular communities are more-or-less in tune with one another, both determined to prevent a ‘chareidi take-over’ of the capital, with the dati leumi camp comfortable with the knowledge that City Hall will support its candidate, as per the pre-election agreement that resulted in the dati leumi camp’s support for Nir Barkat’s mayoral bid.

A dati leumi kenos is scheduled to take place on Sunday to address the election with the realization a candidate must be selected. The event will be hosted in a hall in Jerusalem City Hall, and Mayor Nir Barkat is expected to be in attendance.

At present, the candidate for Sephardi chief rabbi appears to be secured, in the hands of HaGaon HaRav Y. Yosef but the Ashkenazi post is still undecided, with a number of chareidi candidates as well as rabbonim affiliated with the dati leumi camp.

The upcoming election comes amid growing tensions in a number of neighborhoods, including N’vei Yaakov, Kiryat Yovel and Ramat Eshkol, areas in which there are noticeably growing chareidi communities, a reality that has some secular residents concerned and determined to prevent the chareidi take-over of these areas. This is also expected to boost the dati leumi position, portrayed as moderate and in the eyes of some, as anti-chareidi, more favorable and less threatening than a chareidi chief rabbi.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. If they insist on having a government rabbi, it might make more sense to have separate ones based on 21st century difference (Dati vs Hareidi), rather than on 19th century ones (Ashkenazi vs Sefardi). In all fairness, the percentage of people who are “pure” one or the other is rapidly declining.

    Of course, given that Eretz Yisrael has a secular government, and is a democracy, the likely “change” in the near future will be to a “Non-Orthodox/Conservative/Reform” and a “frum”. We should remember, and be wary, how in many European countries, the Reform ended up being the “official” rabbis. Perhaps halacha should be left to gedolim chosen by the frum Yidden, not the state.

  2. I live in Ramat Eshkol and seeing you write about “growing tensions in… Ramat Eshkol” is very annoying.

    There is virtually no tension in Ramat Eshkol, if there is any at all. (Disagreement on one particular issue does not amount to “tension”.) There is certainly no “growing tensions”.

    Reporting such facts, even if they would be true, usually will just lead to an increase in tenstions. When the facts are not true they certainly shouldn’t be reported!

  3. Just to set the record strait. I believe “the candidate for Sephardi chief rabbi appears to be secured, in the hands of HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef”. Not his brother HaRav Yaakov Yosef.

  4. Purity? What on earth are you talking about? Have you seen “mixed” sephardim following the Remah lately? Mixed ashkenazim abandoning the Remah?