Bevis Marks Rabbi’s hearing delayed

By Simon Rocker, August 20, 2009

The executive of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation has postponed a disciplinary hearing for the rabbi of Bevis Marks Synagogue in the East End of London because he is understood to be on sick leave.

Rabbi Natan Asmoucha received a final warning after a first hearing two weeks ago when the mahamad (executive) said he had taken part without authorisation in an interfaith demonstration against high bank interest rates last month.

He had been due to attend a second hearing on Monday into further allegations that he had breached confidence and made derogatory remarks about the congregation’s spiritual head, Rabbi Abraham Levy.
Ronel Lehmann, spokesman for the mahamad, said: “We will not make any further statement until the process is concluded.”

Outraged supporters of Rabbi Asmoucha are planning to requisition an emergency meeting of members of the congregation in order to put a vote of no confidence in the mahamad.

The possibility of Bevis Marks seceding from the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation was among options discussed by a number of Bevis Marks members last week.

Last updated: 2:43pm, September 1 2009