By COLlive reporter
The idea to add a third member to the Crown Heights Bais Din was seen by many as the ideal solution to the deadlock between its two current members.
But even after someone was elected in September 2010 – Rabbi Yossi Braun of Australia – the entire Beis Din and election process has been steeped in controversy.
Braun, who won Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky by close to 100 votes, was said not to have proper Smicha (rabbinical ordination), although he is currently leading the Tzemach Tzedek Community in Sydney.
Before the elections, Braun did produce a letter signed by Boro Park Rabbi Gavriel Tzinner, who is a family friend of Braun’s grandfather and also of Bogomilsky’s.
Rabbi Tzinner told COLlive.com that the undated letter was not an actual Smicha certificate and should not be seen as such, but merely a recommendation letter.
As pressure mounted from some Crown Heights residents, Badatz member Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba stated that without Smicha he will not recognize Braun’s position (Braun was nominated by Osdoba’s counterpart Rabbi Yaacov Schwei.)
Fingers are being pointed in the direction of Rabbi Avrohom Rosenberg, the Monsey dayan who was paid by the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council to settle leadership troubles in the community.
Rosenberg and the additional 4 Israeli rabbis who joined his “Zabla Bais Din” who called for the elections have failed to appoint a committee to search for and screen candidates.
According to Braun’s supporters, he agreed to produce the Smicha but will only show it to Rabbi Rosenberg.
“People will pressure the one who gave the Smicha to withdraw it the same way they did with Rabbi Tzinner.”
Rosenberg held a conference call this past Sunday to determine a way out of this puzzle, but has stated he will not notify the public for another week on the decision.
Meanwhile, Vaad Hakohol Chairman Zaki Tamir has sent Rosenberg a letter requesting “clarification regarding our (Vaad’s) responsibility as it relates to execution of the psak din.”
The letter, available in full on the new CHJCC.org website, gives a glimpse into the confusion surrounding the process, the outcome and the future.