Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Begin Backs Goren, Yosef for Re-election As Chief Rabbis

January 3, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Menachem Begin intervened personally at today’s Cabinet meeting in favor of amending on existing law so that Israel’s two incumbent chief rabbis can stand for election to second 10-year terms.

Begin was opposed on this matter by Yosef Burg, Interior Minister and Minister for Religious Affairs who is a leader of the National Religious Party and Justice Minister Moshe Nissim, a member of the Liberal Party wing of Begin’s Likud. The law at present limits a chief rabbi to one ten year term. Shlomo Goren is the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi and Ovadia Yosef is the Sephardic Chief Rabbi.

Begin originally wanted Goren and Yosef to be given tenure until they reach age 70, without elections. He agreed to elections on condition that the two incumbents be allowed to run. Chief Rabbinate sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Yosef’s reelection was virtually certain.

Goren also has a strong chance of winning, but much will depend on who decides to stand against him, the sources said. One front-runner is Rabbi Yitzhak Kolitz, of Tel Aviv, a Dayan (judge) of the Supreme Rabbinical Court.

Recommended from JTA