Director-General Elchanan Glatt of the Religious Services Ministry appointed, Opher Ya'akov, a specialist in the ministry's legal office, Sunday, to be the new secretary of the committee that will elect Israel's next chief rabbis. Ya'akov succeeds Rabbi Chizkiyahu Samin, who resigned after it was claimed that he tried to convince Rabbi Tzion Bo'aron to withdraw his candidacy for Sephardic Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Samin denied involvement in a meeting regarding the election, but stepped down in the name of the election's integrity.
Rabbi Bo'aron, who serves on the High Rabbinical Court, received the support of outgoing Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar after it became apparent that Rabbi Amar would not be allowed to run for another term. Rabbi Bo'aron is viewed by the Shas party as a threat to the candidacy of either Rabbi Yitzchak Yoseph or Rabbi Avraham Yoseph, sons of the party's spiritual leader, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph.