Whereas the institution of the chief rabbi was established to provide leadership and status to the rabbinate based on a European model during the Mandate period in pre-state Israel;
Whereas instead the institution of the chief rabbinate has had an unfortunate impact on Israeli society due to political wrangling involved in choosing its leaders, and the sharp chasm that results between the office of the chief rabbinate and the Israeli public which has created a general antipathy to Judaism and its practices;
Whereas for many, Israel’s chief rabbinate is synonymous with corruption, favoritism, and cronyism and fails to represent the majority of Israel’s Jewish population; and
Whereas the existence of a chief rabbinate misrepresents the nature of Judaism to the world at large, even to Jews who have become less involved in their religious heritage.
Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly:
- Call upon the State of Israel to dissolve the chief rabbinate; and
- Call upon our fellow Israelis, leaders of the Masorti movement in Israel and all people of conscience to lead a grassroots initiative to demand that the State of Israel examine the relevance and efficacy of the chief rabbinate in contemporary Israeli life, with an eye towards disbanding a structure that is outmoded and unnecessary.
Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly uphold the principle of State supported religion in Israel and call for financial resources to be allocated equitably to the major streams of Judaism.