Candidates submitted for Israel’s chief rabbis

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ten rabbis submitted their candidacy for elections to serve as Israel’s Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis.

The deadline for submitting candidacies for the Aug. 14 vote was Wednesday afternoon. The 150-member election committee has only two women.

The candidacy of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu is being challenged in the Supreme Court over racist comments attributed to him. Among the candidates are the children of prominent Sephardi and Ashkenazi rabbis.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the candidates for chief Sephardic rabbi include Rabbi Yehuda Deri, chief municipal rabbi of Beersheva and brother of Shas chairman Arye Deri, and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, author of a 38-volume set on Jewish law and son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the dean of the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva and son of the late Ashkenazi chief rabbi Rabbi Avraham Shapira, and Rabbi David Stav, chief municipal rabbi of Shoham and chairman of the Tzohar rabbinical association, are among  the candidates for Ashkenazi chief rabbi.

Meanwhile, two major Orthodox organizations in the United States issued a joint statement on Monday condemning Rabbi Shalom Cohen, a member of the Shas party’s rabbinical committee member, for calling Modern Orthodox leaders “Amalek,” the archenemy of the Jewish people, at an event announcing the candidacy of Yosef.

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