A Knesset committee advanced a bill that would reduce the number of chief rabbis from two to one.
The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Jan. 19 to approve the legislation, which was proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua party, and co-sponsored by Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and lawmaker Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home party.
The bill was moved to the Cabinet, which would send it to the full Knesset for consideration. It would take effect following the expiration of the 10-year terms of the current chief rabbis, Rabbi David Lau (Ashkenazi) and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (Sephardi).
“In a state where there is only one president, one Supreme Court president, one prime minister and one chief of general staff, there is no way to justify the doubling of the position of chief rabbi,” Livni said. “We have to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned division of ancestral congregations.” — jta