Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jerusalem Orthodox Group Loses Fight Against Palestine Chief Rabbinate


The fight of the Jerusalem orthodox group, under the leadership of Rabbi Sonnenfeld, against the extension of the rights of the Chief Rabbinate of Palestine, under the leadership of Rabbi Kook, who is now visiting America, has been lost by that group, by a decision of the British Colonial Office today.

The Palestinian Government issued, at the beginning of May, an ordinance which transferred to the Chief Rabbinate of Palestine the right to decide all matters concerning the constitution and administration of “Wakfs,” (properties donated for Jewish religious purposes in Palestine). According to the old Turkish law these Jewish “Wakfs” were under the jurisdiction of the Moslem Religious Court.

Rabbi Sonnenfeld, however, and his associates, who have been in opposition to Rabbi Kook for a long time, protested against the new ordinance, and sent a cable to the British Colonial Office asking that the right of decision concerning the “Wakfs” should not be vested with the “Zionist Chief Rabbinate” but should remain with the Moslem Religious Court. In the cable, Rabbi Sonnenfeld strongly attacked Sir Herbert Samuel and Justice Norman Bentwich for the issuance of the ordinance.

I##itish Colonist Office rejected today the request of Rabbi Sonnenfeld, declaring that the ordinance cannot be annulled.

Recommended from JTA