Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: Rabbi Raising Money

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
One would think that a rabbi raising money for the poor is so common, and even part of the job, that it would not be a big deal. Yet somehow, the other day, it was discovered that Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch was raising money for the poor through his contacts of donors and some people made a stink about it saying he is not allowed to be doing so as a State employee.
So, the Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulai, is proposing a law that will allow the Rav HaKotel, to do so. The Kotel Rabbi really fulfills three roles - Kotel Rabbi and Rabbi of the various Holy Sites and Director of the Kotel Heritage Fund. In his role as rabbi, the poor and needy naturally see in him someone who can help them and they make requests. This is something rabbinic leaders were always involved in.
The new law, assuming it passes, will allow the Kotel Rabbi to take requests from donors looking for his assistance in passing along donations. He will not be allowed to cold call donors asking for donations - only if a donor approaches him can he assist.
The donors will put in writing the parameters for their donations to be distributed and based on those parameters the Kotel Rabbi will direct the requests, and he will not be allowed to include any personal recommendation. The donations will be made directly by the donors to the organizations or needy - without the rabbi as a middleman. Every 3 months the rabbi will sub,it a report on how many such requests were made, the amounts and the identity of the donors. Any instance of a potential conflict of interests will be directed by the rav to the Legal Counsel fo the Rabbanut for direction.
source: Behadrei
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