Former chief rabbi Yonah Metzger has announced that he will not participate in the rabbinic conference organized by the “Organization of Rabbis of Towns and Communities.”
A number of prominent rabbis will participate in the 8th conference of Israeli rabbis which will take place over the weekend at the Ramada Rennaissance hotel.
On Thursday a session will take place on the subject of “the Dignity of the Rabbinate in Israel”, including speeches by the rabbis of Petah Tikva, Or Yehuda, Kiryat Ono, and Rehovot, as well as Chief Rabbi David Lau.
One of the speakers invited to the session is former chief rabbi Yonah Metzger who is described in the conference program as “His Honor Rabbi Yonah Metzger, former Chief Rabbi of Israel.”
Rabbi Metzger was charged five years ago with a series of severe crimes including fraud, theft, conspiracy, breach of trust, money laundering, tax offenses, and accepting bribes. Metzger signed a plea bargain Tuesday, under which he will serve 3.5 years in prison.
Rabbi Metzger was indicted in October, 2015 on suspicion of accepting about 10 million shekels ($2.6 million) in bribes. According to the plea bargain Metzger will admit to receiving 3 million shekels in bribes and illicit funds.
The Tzohar rabbinic organization sharply criticized inviting Rabbi Metzger to the conference and especially to a session on the “Honor of the Rabbinate.”
“The fact that Rabbi Metzger is invited to a session dealing with upholding the honor of the rabbinate is a total loss of moral compass and a severe insult to the Torah and morality.”