Israel's Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger called on rabbis of cities, communities and regional councils to attend an "emergency gathering" following the State's decision to recognize rabbis of conservative and reform communities as official rabbis and give them the same funding as orthodox rabbis who are appointed by the Chief Rabbinate.
The "emergency" gathering is scheduled to be held next Tuesday, and the Rabbinate plans to send a letter signed by Amar and Metzger to hundreds of rabbis, urging them to attend the event.
According to sources at the chief rabbis' bureaus, the event aims to voice protestation against the "grave breach" allowed by the State, and also to come up with practical ways to thwart the move.
Last month, Attorney General Yeuda Weinstein announced that the State agrees to recognize leaders of reform communities as "rabbis of non-orthodox communities" – which will allow them to receive the same funding that is allocated to rabbis appointed by the Chief Rabbinate.
The decision stirred controversy among the Orthodox public, leading senior rabbis to claim that "you can't call a fraud 'rabbi', the same as judges and doctors. It forges the halacha."
The head of Israel's Reform Judaism movement Rabbi Gilad Kariv said in response to the chief rabbis' decision to convene an emergency meeting that "Rabbi Amar's intention to fight a decision of the State, which was backed by the Supreme Court, proves how much the Chief Rabbinate lost its state function, and how much it is disconnected from the Israeli public, which has had enough of the Orthodox monopoly.
"Rabbi Amar will do well to resign from his position, and then stage his political and public battles just like any other citizen of the State. Until he does so, he should internalize the principles of democracy and refrain from exploiting his official position in order to incite against a public of tens and hundreds of thousands of people that indentifies with the ways of Reform Judaism," he added.