Rabbi Yehoshua Fass & Rabbi David Lau, today
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass & Rabbi David Lau, today Nefesh B'Nefesh
Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, met today (Tuesday) with Rabbi Yehoshua Fass in order to express his sadness and dismay at the inclusion of Rabbi Fass’s name on an unauthorized list published by the Chief Rabbinate earlier this week. The list includes names of Diaspora Rabbis whose authority has been allegedly questioned by the Chief Rabbinate with regards to verifying Jewish identity.

Rabbi Lau expressed his regret to Rabbi Fass and explained that he was not aware of the existence of this list and certainly not of its publication, and that it was released without his consent. "I regret that this incident may have called your reputation into question. The Chief Rabbinate recognizes and appreciates you as a Rabbi and all that you have done for the Jewish people." Chief Rabbi Lau added that he has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter.

Rabbi Fass, who co-founded Nefesh B'Nefesh, which has assisted over 50,000 Olim to Israel over the past 15 years, said after the meeting: "The Rabbinate should serve as a shining example of unity and connectivity within Judaism and promote its positive values in order to bridge any divides and prevent Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred)."

In addition, Rabbi Fass expressed his sincerest hope that the matter be resolved immediately, and that a healing process will begin to develop between the Chief Rabbinate and Rabbinic leaders across the world.

A translation of the original Hebrew letter follows:

BS”D, 16 Tamuz, 5777
10 July, 2017

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, shlita
Executive Director of “Nefesh B'Nefesh

Over these last few days, a clerk in the office of the Chief Rabbinate publicized, of his own personal accord, a list of unapproved documents.

When Harav Hagaon Chief Rabbi David Lau, shlita was made aware of this list, he immediately asked me to protest with the utmost fervor the assault on these Rabbis, and notify that this document did not receive his approval, nor did he know anything at all about it.

In his name, I approached the Director-General of the Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Moshe Dagan, to thoroughly investigate this conduct.

In explaining this document we were told that the intent was not to reject these Rabbis, God forbid, but rather that certain documents that reached him had questions surrounding them and uncertainties regarding them. Some were suspected of being forged, and others due to other elements found in them.

Chief Rabbi David Lau, shlita is saddened that this document impugned your good name, and therefore has asked me to inform you that this document is in no way, God forbid, a rejection of you. The Chief Rabbi very much values all your endeavors, and has instructed all those involved in this matter to act accordingly.


Rabbi Rephael Frank
Senior Advisor to the Chief Rabbi

cc: Harav Hagaon David Lau, shlita, Chief Rabbi of Israel