Head of conference of European rabbis deletes his tweet of support for mother denied access to her children

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Head of conference of European rabbis deletes his tweet of support for mother denied access to her children

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt's sympathetic post for Beth Alexander has disappeared from social media platform

Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrahi from Jerusalem, addressing European rebbetzin in the Great Synagogue of Vienna. Twitter @europeanrabbis
Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrahi from Jerusalem, addressing European rebbetzin in the Great Synagogue of Vienna. Twitter @europeanrabbis

A social media post by a leading European rabbi in support of a British solicitor estranged from her children has vanished from the platform.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt is president of the Conference of European Rabbis, the main Orthodox rabbinical alliance in Europe.

Tweeting from a convention for rebbetzins of European Jewish communities, held in Vienna, Austria, he shared with his 2,485 followers that the women had observed a respectful moment of silence to say ‘Tehilim’ (psalms of David) for Beth Schlesinger (née Alexander), mother of twins Samuel and Benjamin.

The social media post has now completely disappeared from the Rabbi’s account.

Beth Schlesinger (née Alexander) with her two children

Ms Alexander has been in a prolonged dispute with her ex-husband, Dr Michael Schlesinger, since shortly after the twins’ birth nearly 13 years ago. He has retained sole custody of the children, in Vienna, since 2011. In January 2022, Alexander was told that she would have no contact with her sons as a result of a new ruling by an Austrian court.

Source: Twitter

A letter from Rabbi Goldschmidt to the Chabad rabbi of Schlesinger’s synagogue in Vienna, dated 4th November 2022, pleaded with him to get involved:

“No mother deserves to be blocked from her children. The emotional abuse of a Jewish mother through the weaponising of secular courts must be decried and put to a stop. I am deeply concerned not only for Beth’s well-being, but for her children, who are left motherless. Please let us know if there is anything the Conference of European Rabbis can to do help reunify a mother and her children.”

During many battles in court, Schlesinger has challenged Ms Alexander’s fitness as a mother, whilst she has accused him of calling on his contacts in the Vienna Jewish community in order to impede her relationship with the children.

Dr Michael Schlesinger

Last year, Jewish News reported that a letter from the president of the Vienna Jewish community, Oskar Deutsch, offering to help Alexander, to take part in the upcoming June barmitzvah of her twin sons, Samuel and Benjamin, was denounced by the furious mother of two as “a whitewash” and “a tissue of lies”.

A Facebook group supporting Alexander has nearly 7,000 members.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis flew to Vienna in 2018 to try to resolve the situation but was unsuccessful.

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: