JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Chief Rabbinate reportedly has revoked the ordination of a rabbi accused of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct.
It is the first time that the Chief Rabbinate has taken such a step, according to Israel’s Channel 2, which first reported the move on Tuesday. The news channel did not name the rabbi, who ran a religious council in a northern Israeli city.
Several women complained that they were sexually harassed by the rabbi, though police have dropped investigations against him due to lack of evidence.
The rabbi also was accused of having an extramarital affair. Security camera footage of the rabbi kissing and hugging a woman who is not his wife was sent to the Chief Rabbinate earlier this year, according to the report.
In addition to being stripped of his ordination for what the rabbinate called “behavior unbefitting someone with the status of a rabbi in Israel,” the rabbi also has been fired from his job, according to Channel 2. The station reported that the case has been under review by the Chief Rabbinate’s disciplinary committee for a number of years.
The rabbi’s lawyer told Channel 2 that his client would appeal the decision and may sue the Chief Rabbinate for defamation.