Truce in Rabbi Bassous dispute as parties agree to Beth Din

Minister will continue to lead his Golders Green congregation during the process and "no minyanim will take place" without his approval


The trustees of Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel in Golders Green have reached a truce with its founder Rabbi Aharon Bassous by agreeing to take their months-long dispute to a Beth Din. 

Last Shabbat, Rabbi Bassous took part in services in one part of the synagogue, while supporters of the trustees met in another. 

The trustees of the Sephardi community maintain that Rabbi Bassous has effectively resigned, but he denies making any “binding” decision to go. 

Congregants have now been informed that the trustees and Elan Shasha, a leading donor, on the one hand, and Rabbi Bassous and the  gabaim (wardens), on the other, have “agreed to seek to resolve the present dispute by way of a Zabla Beit Din”. 

Under the zabla process, each side nominates a dayan to sit on the tribunal and then the two dayanim select a third. 

Members were also told that throughout the process Rabbi Bassous would continue leading the community and that “no minyanim will take place” without his prior approval. 

The message to congregants said the move to resolve the dispute was “an important step in the process of restoring shalom [peace] to our kehilla [community]”. 

The rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations – to which BHKY is affiliated – has already expressed the view that a rabbi cannot be removed against his will without the decision of a Beth Din which has heard both sides. 

BHKY opened an impressive new building in Golders Green Road last year costing over £3 million. But trustees have said that the projected income has been hit by the restrictions on activities caused by the pandemic. 



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