Home > Israel > Jerusalem Mayor Birkat protests possibility of both chief rabbis of Jerusalem being haredi

Jerusalem Mayor Birkat protests possibility of both chief rabbis of Jerusalem being haredi

JERUSALEM (WJC)—Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem  has announced that he would petition the High Court against an election process which is likely to lead to the appointment of two ultra-Orthodox chief rabbis for the city. Barkat said 70 percent of Jerusalem’s population was not haredi.

On Sunday, a five-man committee, including three haredi members from the Chief Rabbinate, the rabbinic courts and the Religious Services Ministry, upheld an election process that brought about a clear majority for the interests of the ultra-Orthodox community on the body that is to elect the chief rabbis of the Israeli capital, one Sephardic and one Ashkenazi.

The ‘Jerusalem Post’ quotes from a letter written by Barkat to Israel’s Attorney-General Mazuz in which he calls it “essential that a chief rabbi of Jerusalem come from a mainstream Judaism in a city where 70 percent of the Jewish population is not haredi.”

The mayor added: “It is, therefore, important that one of the two chief rabbis elected belong to the religious Zionist stream of Judaism. The chief rabbi has an important role as representative of the city and its citizens. He must be a figure engaged in issues connected to all segments of the city’s population and understand the needs of the entire population that receives religious services.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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  1. carol ann goldstein
    January 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I agree with Mayor Nir Barkat.

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