Rabbinate clarifies: There is no 'black list'

Chief Rabbinate says private list was never meant to be any sort of blacklist.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef (L) and David Lau (R)
Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef (L) and David Lau (R)
Flash 90

Israel's Chief Rabbinate clarified Monday that the reports that the rabbinate has compiled a 'blacklist' of 160 Diaspora rabbis who are not recognized are false and that no such blacklist exists.

Chief Rabbinate director-general Moshe Dagan summoned the head of the Chief Rabbinate's Department of Citizenship and Immigration following the international outcry which accompanied the publication of a private list which was said to have been compiled by an official in the department.

The list was falsely reported as a blacklist by ITIM, headed by Rabbi Seth Farber, and as representative of an exclusionary policy of the Chief Rabbinate. ITIM is highly critical of the Chief Rabbinate on issues of personal status and conversion. The list turned out to be made up of rabbis who had sent a letter certifying someone's Judaism which was rejected for any reason, technical or substantive.

Rabbi Seth Farber, founder of the ITIM Jewish Life Information Center, rejected the Rabbinate's explanation.

"We regret that the Chief Rabbinate has chosen to evade responsibility," Rabbi Farber said. "Firstly, contrary to the Rabbinate's announcement, the director-general of the Rabbinate knew about the blacklisting because he sent an email in which the list was included."

"In addition, the problem is not about one official or another in the rabbinate. The problem is systemic, and we therefore regret that they have scapegoated a single official. Finally, American Jewry is outraged and rightly so. There is indeed a blacklist of rabbis who were rejected for no real reason, and it should be remembered that behind each of the rabbis on the list there are couples who were rejected by the rabbinate and were not approved to marry," Rabbi Farber added.