Spectacular Chutzpa

An open letter to Rabbi Miri Gold

Dear Rabbi Gold,

I’m writing you today to beg for more of your patience.  I know you and your congregation, Birkat Shalom, believed that winning an unprecedented verdict in May 2012 meant that you would receive a state salary like all male Orthodox rabbis in the Gezer region.  Our whole movement in Israel and abroad celebrated this achievement; however it is now clear to me that the celebrations were premature.

We have just learned that the state decided NOT to award you a salary for 2012 because you worked only part time as Birkat Shalom’s rabbi.  This is spectacular chutzpa.  The only reason you worked part time was that there were no financial means to pay you for a full-time position.  But I know, as everyone does, that you give much more than full-time; you give your all.  The rule that only full-time rabbis will be compensated by the state is an invention by government bureaucrats wishing to circumvent the court’s verdict.  We at IRAC are determined to fight this verdict with all the tools at our disposal. If necessary, we will return to the Supreme Court and ask them to order your salary to be paid immediately along with compensation and legal fees.

We want to alert the many new friends that we have in the Knesset and have them investigate and correct this bureaucratic “Catch-22.” We will turn to the media both here and abroad and get the liberal Jewish world to apply pressure on Israeli decision makers.  But before we do all that, I must ask you for savlanut (patience). You once pointed out to me that the word savlanut has the word sevel (suffering) in its root; you taught me that in the course of the 7 years that we were in court challenging the state to recognize you as a rabbi in Israel.  So today I turn to you; dear sister, friend, and teacher.  Please have more savlanut – “justice, justice will prevail.”

Anat Hoffman

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Anat Hoffman

About Anat Hoffman

Anat Hoffman is executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel.

2 Responses to “Spectacular Chutzpa”

  1. I believe that Rabbi Miri Gold deserves exactly the same treatment and respect and — as it stands — governmental remuneration, the same as the biggest self-proclaimed “posek” or ADMO”R on the government payroll, with or without black hat. But the ultimate solution must be to cut that financial umbilical cord of the religious “civil service” to government. I believe that what Israel needs is a separation of religion and the state.

  2. Israel continues to make it very difficult for American Jewish women to support their policies.
    I am 78 years of age. I fought for feminine rights in my country. I continue to do so but it is nothing like the fight the Israeli women have on their hands, God be with you.

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