Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Sivan 5762 - May 15, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











23rd Biannual Convention of the CER
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The 23rd biannual Conference of European Rabbis (CER) convention took place in Brussels last week with the participation of 230 European rabbis including all the European chief rabbis as well as the two chief rabbis of Israel, Rabbi I M Lau and Rabbi Bakshi Doron, and the Minister of Religion Rabbi O Ohana and Deputy Minister of Housing Rabbi M Porush. The convention was held under the patronage of the European Commission who put their building at the disposal of the conference.

The President of the European Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi, addressed the convention at the dinner, emphasizing the role of spiritual leadership as an essential ingredient for the development of Europe. Awards were made to Ronald Lauder for his extensive work in the field of Jewish education in Europe. Rabbi Israel Singer also received an award for his role in the field of restitution and George Ban for his role in directing the efforts of the Lauder Foundation in Europe.

The conference recognized the increased growth of the Jewish community in Germany by granting an award Mrs. C Knoblauch of Munich who has ensured that the joint beth din set up by the CER in Germany can function efficiently.

Chief Rabbi Lau dramatically dealt with the current situation in Israel during a special session with a keynote speech. He described the daily tribulations experienced by the citizens of Israel and called on the rabbis to encourage their communities to go to Israel for visits.

During the conference a rabbi from southern France announced that one hundred members of his congregation had declared that they wished to move to Israel due to the current antisemitic climate in France.

The convention was overshadowed by the constant emphasis on security. During preparations for the conference it had been requested that the delegates not circulate in the streets in order to avoid attracting attention. The secretary general of the CER, Cllr Aba Dunner, refused to issue such instructions declaring that those who constitute a threat to the rabbis should be restricted from circulating in the city rather than the rabbis. A solidarity visit was made to the Anderlecht synagogue in Brussels that had been firebombed some months ago. The damage was still apparent for all to see.

Leading halachic authorities attending the conference met with representatives of the International Conference of Jewish Women in order to discuss the agunoh issue. It was agreed that the CER issue a statement condemning husbands who blackmail their wives for large sums of money in return for the get as well as women who use the issue of access before accepting a get. Mrs. Lilian Grossman, who headed the delegation, stated categorically in the name of all delegates that solutions could only be considered if they conformed with halacha. It was agreed that a joint working committee be established in order to deal with all the issues including proposed legislation being considered in various countries.

Resolutions adopted by the conference included: A plea to the leaders of Europe to stamp out the current wave of antisemitism in all its forms. A pledge of solidarity of all communities in Europe with Israel. The conference called on the leadership in Israel to appreciate that the future of the Jewish people depends on upholding true Jewish values. The conference sent its condolences to the bereaved families who have suffered from the constant killings in recent years in Israel.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.