Give rabbis bachelor's degrees

Rabbi Shimon Jacoby is demanding the academic recognition of rabbinical licenses.
"These highly-educated people...can only help the public."

Shlomo Pyotrovsky ,

Rabbi Shimon Jacoby
Rabbi Shimon Jacoby
Yaakov Cohen

Director of the rabbinical courts, Rabbi Shimon Jacoby, demands that the Finance Ministry and Civil Service Commission recognize a rabbinical license as equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

If his request is honored, rabbis would be able to hold civil service positions, which mandate academic achievement, and licensed rabbis would get an academic salary in a public rabbinical position.

After a meeting with Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzchak Yosef, as well as with the Civil Service Commissioner, Rabbi Jacoby sent a formal request letter to the Civil Service Commissioner and the Commissioner of the Ministry of Finance. The matter will eventually go to the Knesset Finance Committee.

In his letter, Rabbi Jacoby explained the strict requirements needed to gain a rabbinical license: At least 4 years learning in yeshiva, plus being 18 years old before the 4 years' completion, or three years of study in "morality," as recognized by the Rabbinical High Court, as well as extensive and rigorous written and oral exams.

According to Rabbi Jacoby, these conditions do not legally fulfill the requirements in order to acquire a bachelor's degree in an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education - though he thinks they should.

In Jacoby's words: "The recognition of the a rabbinical license as equivilent to an academic degree will assist the integration of these highly-educated people in civil service, as well as...into the public."