Apr 11, 2013
Chief Rabbi Resigns Amid Scandal

France's well respected Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim resigned Thursday over claims of plagiarism and false credentials.

Haaretz reports:

The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, handed in his resignation on Thursday after admitting to plagiarism in two books and to deception about his academic credentials.

The Paris Central Consistory, the top Jewish religious organization in France, said in a statement that Bernheim was resigning and gave no further details.

Bernheim asked for the leave at an emergency Central Consistory meeting, after having acknowledged on Tuesday that he made "mistakes", in an interview with Radio Shalom.

Bernheim, 60, a modern Orthodox Jew, was respected by other religious leaders as an active participant in interfaith dialogue, and his booklet opposing the government's plan to legalize same-gender marriage won praise from former Pope Benedict.

His fall from grace shocked France's 600,000-strong Jewish community and it was not immediately clear who would take his place. Bernheim was elected to the seven-year post in 2008.

Last month, a blogger accused him of copying a 1996 text by the late French post-modernist philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard to use in his 2011 book "Forty Jewish Meditations."

Bernheim initially refused to resign, despite having admitted to several counts of plagiarism and deception regarding his academic credentials.

Another blogger accused Bernheim last week of plagiarism in a 2002 book and L'Express magazine revealed he had not earned the prestigious title of philosophy professor that was often attached to his name.

Although his official biography did not mention him passing the "agregation," the highly selective examination needed to qualify as a professor, Bernheim never disputed the title when it appeared in newspaper articles and publicity for his books.

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Opinions and Comments
Oy vey
(4/11/2013 10:17:54 AM)
Sorry to hear about his troubles. He likely has smicha. Chief rabbis and rabbonim on batei din usually have smicha.
(4/11/2013 10:19:55 AM)
Levi McGregor
So who will be the new chief rabbit? Ill throw my hat in the ring. No false credentials.
(4/11/2013 12:35:24 PM)
We live in a time when everything can be known
On that day, 'A stone will cry out from a wall'
(4/11/2013 1:50:15 PM)
we live in a time
We live in a time where everything is false. and I'm not talking about this Rabbi. I'm talking about the politics which caused him to resign and the stupidities which a Rabbi is supposedly supposed to have, such as an MA etc. Since when does a spiritual leader have to be a college grad. We are living in a totally FALTSHE VELT!! where the TOFUL is the IKUR and the ikur doesn't rate!
(4/11/2013 6:54:53 PM)
he is a genius and unique
will be greatly missed , what a man ... did he ever get angry or mad? can be a real " dugma chaya" for many....
(4/11/2013 11:21:55 PM)
Dont be such a hypocrite #5
...look at many Kehot books where the secular degrees of authors such as Rabbi Nissan Mangel, or Rabbi Emmanuel Shochet Sh"Y is used to sell the books. Suddenly, having a degree is respected...

If you're so holy why are you on the internet preaching...?

I was at a wedding recently in a different town and one of the shluchim asked me what I was doing. When I told him i worked for the Canadian Government, he was impressed.

Had I told him I was on shlichus or kollel, he would have just shrugged. Something is wrong with the values we preach, compared to what we really admire....
(4/12/2013 12:18:07 AM)
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