Ron Yosef, an openly gay Orthodox rabbi and leader of the HOD organization seeking to provide a framework for homosexual religious Jews stay within Judaism, was arrested on Sunday over suspicions of fraud and theft, NRG reported.
According to police reports, Yosef in the past allegedly stole 300,000 shekels from a building firm he was then working for, using fraudulent credit cards taken out in the company’s name.
When the employer discovered the theft and demanded the money be returned, Yosef allegedly posted false public statements claiming he was suffering from cancer and in desperate need of donations.
According to the allegations, Yosef then used the money collected based on his false cancer claims to repay his former employer.
Yosef first entered the public spotlight in 2008 when he founded HOD, an organization providing guidance to religious LGBT Israelis. Yosef himself came out as gay a year later.
Despite his orientation and Judaism’s forbidding of homosexuality, Yosef continues to identify as an Orthodox Jew.
Under his guidance, HOD encourages members to reconcile their sexual orientation and religious identity, affirming the Biblical prohibition against homosexual intercourse while also rejecting therapy treatments to alter one’s orientation.