Religious Leadership in Israel's Religious Zionism: The Case of the Board of Rabbis

A. Cohen, Aaron Kampinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Board of Rabbis was a rabbinical body that was founded in 1948 as part of the Hapoel Hamizrahi movement and united the religious-Zionist rabbis. From a central and influential status in religious-Zionist public life in the 1950s and 1960s, the Board deteriorated to an insignificant formal body. Its activity in the 1950s took on a national-halakhic character, manifested mainly in the publishing of the HaTorah VeHaMedina compilations for over a decade and in the composition of a special prayer for Independence Day. In the 1960s, the Board's activity became more organizational and party oriented. In the early 1970s there was a shift in the Board's, and the Chief Rabbinate's, relation to the state of Israel. The "bastards affair," and the impeachment of the chief rabbis Unterman and Nissim that followed, generated harsh disputes within the Board. The new religious leaderships that developed in that period also contributed to weakening the Board's status. The Board's experience indicates that to be effective and relevant, a rabbinical body must have a clear and undisputed policy.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)119-140
JournalJewish Political Studies Review
Issue number3/4
StatePublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Religious Leadership in Israel's Religious Zionism: The Case of the Board of Rabbis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this