Israeli synagogue disinvites ‘rejecter’ rabbi

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli synagogue disinvites ‘rejecter’ rabbi

Invitation to British-born rabbi withdrawn after learning he had been named as a “mesarev” or “rejecter” for refusing to comply with a ruling by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Rabbi Saul Djanogly. Pic: YouTube.
Rabbi Saul Djanogly. Pic: YouTube.

An Israeli synagogue withdrew an invitation to a British-born rabbi to speak to the congregation after learning he had been named as a “mesarev” or “rejecter” for refusing to comply with a ruling by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

Rabbi Saul Djanogly is locked in a six-figure financial dispute with his father, David, and his brother, Avi. The matter is due to be heard in the High Court.

The rabbi, a well-known figure in adult Jewish education, has a long parallel career in wealth management and financial investment.

Details of the dispute have been heard by two sets of Jewish religious judges. First by the head of the Federation of Synagogues Beth Din, Dayan Yisroel Yaakov Lichtenstein, and later by the Beth Din of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) in Golders Green. Both ruled against Rabbi Djanogly.

Dayan Lichtenstein considered submissions from the two parties for three years before making his ruling.

However, Rabbi Djanogly did not accept the judgment and the disputants took the matter to the UOHC for this second hearing.

When Dayan Dunner, Dayan Cohn and Dayan Eisner of the UOHC also ruled against him, Rabbi Djanogly again did not accept their ruling. In return, the UOHC rabbinate “regrettably” found him to be a “mesarev l’beis din”.

Those given the label mesarev are refused honours, such as an aliyah, in congregations aware of the ruling. It is a ruling more often applied to men who refuse their spouses a get [Jewish religious divorce].

Rabbi Djanogly, who moved to Ra’anana with his wife Anne in 2019, was invited to give a Shabbat pre-shacharit shiur (sermon before the morning service) at Eretz Hemdah, a synagogue which is part of an institute for training rabbis, and which has a large following in the religious Zionist community.

In publicity announcing his invitation, congregants learned that “Rabbi Djanogly’s passion is adult Jewish education” and that he is much in demand as a speaker on this subject internationally”.

But the synagogue’s executive decided to “disinvite” him in what it said was a unanimous response.

One member of the executive said withdrawing the invitation was “the correct decision in the circumstances”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: