Former Chief Rabbi Metzger Convicted of Bribery, Fraud

Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger was convicted on Monday morning of bribery and fraud and sentenced to 3.5 years’ imprisonment in accordance with a plea deal he signed last week.

Metzger was also fined NIS 5 million by the court.

He was convicted of three counts of taking bribes, one count of fraudulently obtaining benefits, one count of fraud and obstruction of justice.

The amended indictment filed by the prosecution to the Jerusalem District Court charged Metzger with receiving NIS 5 million in bribes compared to NIS 10 million in the original indictment—as well as tax transgressions he committed while serving as the chief rabbi from 2003 to 2013.

The original indictment detailed Metzger’s method of taking cuts from donation money.

Along with his driver, he worked to raise money for different organizations. Officials within these organizations then transferred various sums to Metzger, which typically amounted to anywhere between 10% and above.

In one case, the two raised funds for a yeshiva operating in Metzger’s synagogue.

According to suspicions, the driver received a $28,000 donation, handed it over to Metzger, and it was divided between the two of them without being transferred to the yeshiva.

Another donation of NIS 72,000 was given by an Israeli businessman to an organization providing food to the needy.

After receiving the funds, the organization’s director allegedly gave Metzger 30 percent of the donation, about NIS 22,500, without informing the donor.

According to the indictment, this was repeated many times.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Former Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger was convicted Monday morning of accepting bribes totaling five million shekels ($1.32 million) in a signed plea bargain.

    Rabbi Metzger will serve a three-and-a-half year prison sentence. However, he may serve only two years if his sentence is shortened by a third for good behavior.

    As part of the plea bargain an amended indictment was filed against Metzger, which alleges that during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of Israel, Metzger committed many offenses including accepting bribes, fraud, and tax evasion while acting in his role and taking advantage of his high position. During the investigation of the case itself Metzger allegedly committed evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

    While the offenses were committed and as a result of them, the rabbi received bribes totaling 5 million shekels, about 3 million of which went in his pocket, after dividing the bribe money with his driver, who served as messenger for the ill-gotten monies. The rest of the money went to his driver. The amended indictment lists six charges against Metzger.

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