Israeli New Rabbinical Court (Video & Photo Essay)

By BJLife/Sharon Altshul
Posted on 07/31/16

Jerusalem, Israel - July 31, 2016 - For nine years, no new dayanim have been appointed to Israel's highest Rabbinical Court, the Supreme Rabbinical Court. 

Today at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem, Israel, nine new dayanim were sworn-in. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted the appointees and their families in a crowded main reception hall.

Rishon Letzion, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Harav Yitzhak Yosef and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi HaRav David Lau and their wives attended. Both Israeli Chief Rabbis gave words of bracha. 

Deputy Defense Minister MK Eli Ben Dahan, MK Arye Deri, and MK David and Azouzlay attended. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Attorney Efrat Rosenblatt were committee members and had front row seats.

Harav Aharon Katz, age 66, Harav Eliyahu Heishrik, age 66, Harav Yakov Zamir, age 63, Harav Yitzchak Elimaliach, age 66, Harav Tzion Luz, age 53, Harav Michael Amos, age 61, Harav Shlomo Shapira, age 61, Harav Maimon Nahari, age 56, and Harav Avraham Shindler, age 57, took turns coming to the podium to swear-in as new Supreme Rabbinical Court dayanim.

From varied Yeshiva backgrounds and backed by different political parties, some have served in the IDF, and all have years of experience as dayanim on lower courts or as rabbanim serving Israeli communities. This new court has the backing of the appointment committee which should insure better resolution of conflicts. 

Dr. Rachel Levmore, Rabbinical Court Advocate and first female member of committee to appoint dayanim, spoke with BJL before the ceremony. 


Levmore emphasized the "historic significance, not only for Jews in State of Israel, but also of Jews of Diaspora." 

Chairman of the Appointment Committee and Infrastructure Minister MK Yuval Steinitz was the last speaker, He said that no mater who we are, men and women, religious and non-religious, we are all Am Yisrael.  Years of work went to get this point and this ceremony. Israel's Highest Rabbinical Court is important not only in Israel, but today's new judges have great influence and their verdicts will be felt throughout the Jewish world

At today's official ceremony, Attorney Rabbi Shimon Yaakovi, temporary Director of the Rabbinical Courts Administration introduced the speakers.

HaRav Eliezer Igra, who was sworn in last month, joined for the final official photos of the day.