France’s top rabbi leaves post after accusations of plagiarism, lying about education

National Post | Life

PARIS — France’s top rabbi announced Thursday he is taking leave from his post, hoping to end a scandal that has unsettled the Jewish community after he acknowledged “borrowing” other people’s work and lying about his educational pedigree.

The Central Consistory of France accepted Rabbi Gilles Bernheim’s request for time away at an urgent meeting to discuss fallout from the case. Bernheim, 60, later issued a statement apologizing to France’s Jewish community, his family and friends, and saying he could no longer do his job with the necessary “serenity.”

“He hopes that the serious events he is blamed for and which mark him, don’t obscure all the actions carried out in the name of his various rabbinical functions over the years in the service of the divine,” the statement said. “He prays to be heard in his request for forgiveness…”

Richard Prasquier, the head of France’s largest umbrella group of…

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