JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was charged with fraud for his alleged involvement in a scam that issued false rabbinic credentials to civil servants.
It reportedly is the first time a chief rabbi has been charged with fraud. Other charges levied against Bakshi-Doron on Monday include attempted fraud and breach of trust.
He is alleged to have been involved in a scam known as "the rabbi’s case," in which up to 1,500 police and other civil servants were issued rabbinic credentials, which gave them large pay bonuses. Many of the civil servants were secular Jews.
Bakshi-Doron, 72, served as Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel from 1998 to 2003. It was during that time that he authorized the awarding of the credentials.
Ten senior rabbis in the Chief Rabbinate were indicted in the case in 2007.