Former Chief Rabbi of Israel convicted of fraud

Following a long trial, former Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was convicted of fraud and breach of trust.
Bakshi, archive Photo credit: Channel 2 News

Today (Monday), former Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was convicted of fraud. No date has been set for the hearings regarding his sentence. Bakshi is the second chief rabbi to be convicted in a short span of time after Rabbi Yona Metzger was convicted and sent to jail.

The judge ruled that during his term as chief rabbi, Bakshi approved the granting of rabbinic ordinances to hundreds of Defense Ministry officials who weren’t eligible in order to receive financial benefits.

Photo credit: Channel 2 News

According to the indictment, the funds were received “fraudulently and methodically” and accumulated to hundreds of millions of shekels.

During his testimony, Bakshi gave a different version to the one that he gave when he was questioned by the police. The former chief rabbi admitted that he instructed the Head of the Examinations Department of the Chief Rabbinate to “turn a blind eye” and issue the accreditation certificates despite the criteria.

Rabbi Bakshi-Doron held his position between 1993-2003, during a time that the IDF, the Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service granted their employees a salary raise, equivalent to that given to those who held a university degree, for having a rabbinic ordinance.

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