Conservative rabbis file police complaint against Amar for incitement


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Conservative rabbis in Israel filed a police complaint against Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in the wake of a meeting of Orthodox rabbis against the state’s agreement to recognize non-Orthodox community rabbis.

Rabbi Mauricio Balter, president of the Israeli Conservative Movement Rabbinical Assembly, and Conservative Rabbi Avinoam Sharom said in separate complaints that Amar incited against them in a letter publicizing Tuesday’s meeting, Ynet reported.

Amar in his letter addressed to hundreds of rabbis in Israel called on them to join the struggle. He urged the rabbis to pray "in order to stop the destroyers and saboteurs of Judaism," Ynet reported.

More than 100 rabbis participated in the meeting called by Amar, including Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger, and rabbis from the Religious Zionist movement.

"They are trying to the uproot the foundation of Judaism," Amar said at the meeting, according to reports.

He also said that "this is an attempt to tear the Jewish people into two nations. It’s a danger without a remedy."

Some 50 Conservative and Reform rabbis staged a counter-demonstration outside the Chief Rabbinate building in Jerusalem during the meeting, according to The Times of Israel. 

Israel’s attorney general told the Supreme Court last month that Reform and Conservative rabbis in some parts of Israel will be recognized as “rabbis of non-Orthodox communities” and will receive wages equal to those of their Orthodox counterparts. The non-Orthodox rabbis will receive their salary from the Culture and Sports Ministry rather than the Religious Services Ministry, which funds Orthodox rabbis.

The decision came after out-of-court negotiations over a 2005 petition by the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism and Miri Gold, a Reform rabbi in central Israel’s Kibbutz Gezer.

Recommended from JTA