Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the national-religious rabbinical association Tzohar, announced Wednesday night, via a YouTube video, that he would be standing as a candidate for the position of chief rabbi of Israel.
Stav’s long-awaited announcement has been expected since last August, when Tzohar began a campaign to prompt the chief rabbinate to adopt a more modern approach to the Jewish life in the country. The election of the new Ashkenazi and Sephardi Chief Rabbis will take place in June.
The appointments are made by secret ballot of a 150-member selection panel in which is comprised of representatives from the government, the Knesset and regional religious councils. The majority of the current members are considered haredi, but this could change after the elections. Tzohar has frequently taken issue with the rabbinate’s approach to the general public and founded its flagship free-of-charge marriage program to provide an alternative to what it describes as “Israel’s strict rabbinic bureaucracy.”
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