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Jews in Rumania Charge Chief Rabbi Shafran with “desertion”; Will Appoint New Rabbi

The departure of former Chief Rabbi Alexander Shafran last December for Switzerland, which aroused considerable bitterness among Rumania’s Jews, was today severely criticized by the Federation of Jewish Communities’ steering committee which, in a press notice released here, announced unanimously that the post of chief rabbi of Rumania is now vacant, Rabbi Shafran has never returned to Rumania.

Condemning Rabbi Shafran’s “desertion in the strongest possible terms, the group’s announcement said that a meeting of delegates from Jewish communities throughout Rumania will be held June 16 to elect a new chief rabbi. The press announcement declared that “by misleading religious authorities and relinquishing his post, Rabbi Shafran was guilty of a “grave breach of duties.” He has forfeited his right to speak in behalf of Rumania’s Jewish community, the statement said, adding that any attempt by him to do so would make him an imposter.

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