Building of Chief Rabbinate of Israel
Building of Chief Rabbinate of IsraelFlash 90

An historic agreement was signed Monday by European and American rabbinical councils, in which world rabbinic leaders declared that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel leads the Jewish world.

The agreement was signed during a conference in Berlin by the chief rabbis and representatives of the European Rabbinical Council as well as the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home/Bayit Yehudi) also signed the treaty.

In the text is written, "We, the European Rabbinical Council and the RCA, see in the Chief Rabbinate of Israel the pillar of fire leading the global Orthodox Jewish camp, lighting and guiding the way." The reference is to the Biblical pillar of fire that led the Jews in the desert on their way to Israel after leaving slavery in Egypt.

At the conference rabbis pledged to coordinate efforts in addressing the various challenges to European Jewry such as bills banning circumcision and kosher slaughter of animals, as well as rising anti-Semitism.

The support from abroad comes even as new bills seek to change the Chief Rabbinate, so that only one Chief Rabbi is appointed instead of the current two, and separating the institution from the rabbinical court system. In response some MKs have spoken out against the reforms, saying the number of politicians should be reduced, rather than that of rabbis.