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Elections for Rabbanei Arim (Cities)

While most of the focus surrounding the controversy to elect new chief rabbis seems to stem around Yerushalayim, the situation is not necessarily better elsewhere, with petitions filed with the High Court of Justice in some cases while in others; there are pending threats to file with the nation’s highest secular court.

In Yerushalayim, the standoff between the chareidim and dati leumi community intensifies and no solution is evident on the horizon. Sadly, after years without chief rabbis in the capital, the personal interest groups seem to dominate the playing field and what is actually best for the city has taken a backseat to each community’s agenda. Dati Leumi officials are threatening to take their case to the High Court of Justice if the election committee membership is not altered to reflect what they believe is an accurate portrayal of the city’s population, a non-chareidi majority.

In Kiryat Ata, where there the election is set around the election of one rav [as opposed to an ashkenazi and sephardi], a petition has already been filed with the High Court of Justice. The petition was filed in the name of two attorneys active in the chareidi community, backed by the Chabad community which would like to see Rav Diskin serve as the city’s chief rabbi. There are other also working behind the scene with their agenda and vision regarding the next chief rabbi of the city.

In Ohr Akiva and Alfei Menashe, officials recently called upon candidates to submit their names in the race. Here too there is dispute and it appears the election will be pushed off for at least a number of weeks under threats of court petitions.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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