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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Haredi Union Ousts Accused Rabbi’s London Shul

By: JTA

Britain’s Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations reportedly has severed ties with a synagogue whose rabbi has been accused of inappropriate conduct with women.

To date, no official charge has been filed with the police in this case.

The British-Jewish umbrella organization took the extraordinary move on Monday by publishing a letter that said that Rabbi Chayim Halpern’s Divrei Chaim Synagogue in London was “no longer affiliated” with the Union, according to The Jewish Chronicle, .

Following complaints by women who reportedly said Rabbi Halpern had acted “improperly” during counseling sessions, the Union had previously announced a plan to convene a special Beth Din, a rabbinical court, consisting of independent dayanim, or judges, to examine the complaints.

The letter, signed by the Union’s general secretary, Chaim Schneck, offered no explanation for the latest turn of events, the Chronicle reported.

Rabbi Halpern resigned last month from his position as a dayan-judge with the Union but has maintained his innocence, saying that his marriage counseling sessions were conducted according to Jewish law.

A number of London rabbis have declared that Rabbi Halpern was “not fit and proper to act in any rabbinic capacity.”

Rabbi Halpern is the son of Union president Rabbi Elchonon Halpern and was considered one of the powerful figures within the Union rabbinate, according to the Chronicle.

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