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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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Fraud Charges Pending against Conversion Reversing Rabbi

Rabbi Avraham Sherman could be charged with fraud, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, and abuse of office.

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Rabbi Avraham Sherman

Rabbi Avraham Sherman



Israel Police has recommend that the state prosecution charge Rabbi Avraham Sherman, a former judge in the High Rabbinical Court, on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, and abuse of office, Srugim reported.

Rabbi Sherman was questioned under caution, with the approval of the Attorney General. The investigation material shows that Rabbi Sherman issued a decision to release from prison a husband who was refusing to give his wife a get. Police suspect that Rabbi Sherman formulated his views and decisions in the case in response to outside pressure, in violation of court regulations.

In May, 2008, three Rabbinical Court judges, headed by Rabbi Sherman, issued a judgment that effectively annulled all conversions performed as of 1999 by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, who was head of the rabbinic conversion system. The decision came down following a decision by a rabbinic court in Ashdod to revoke the conversion of a woman—converted by Rabbi Druckmen—who turned out not to be observant. The woman appealed to the High Rabbinic Court, which confirmed the lower court decision and went on to delete the rest of rabbi Druckman’s conversions, disregarding the consequent suffering inflicted on numerous Israeli families.

Following a complaint by Rabbi Druckman, the judicial ombudsman Tova Strasberg-Cohen decided that Rabbi Sherman relied “on an anonymous file not introduced in evidence,” and recommended to remove him, a recommendation supported by then Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann. But the Commission on the appointment of judges did approve the ombudsman’s recommendation.

In late 2008, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz appealed to the Supreme Court to reject the decisions of the rabbinical court in Ashdod and the High Rabbinical Court, and recognize Rabbi Druckman’s conversion.

Jewish Press Staff

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