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Chief Rabbinate Elections May Be Delayed Again

The Minister for Religious Affairs, Aharon Abu-Hatzeira, said yesterday that the elections for the Chief Rabbinate and the National Rabbinate Council would be delayed. He conveyed his decision to Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who has opposed any delay.

Yosef and his supporters have contended that a postponement of the elections, postponed once before at Abu-Hatzeira’s request, is intended to improve the re-election prospects of Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren who is supported by the leadership of the National Religious Party (NRP). Goren faces a serious challenge from Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli who is backed by Yosef and by NRP rank-and-file. The Knesset must approve a delay. Abu-Hatzeira is said to have the support of the Labor Alignment and NRP MKs.