Mystery surrounds unexplained departure of London Beth Din Dayan

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Mystery surrounds unexplained departure of London Beth Din Dayan

Dayan Yonason Abraham says it is with a 'sense of responsibility and sadness' that he steps down from the religious board

Dayan Yonason Abraham
Dayan Yonason Abraham

Mystery surrounded the abrupt and unexplained departure of Dayan Yonason Abraham from the London Beth Din this week, after it was announced by the religious board that he had left his post with immediate effect.

In a message to rabbis on Wednesday, the head of the Beth Din Dayan Gelley said Abraham had “stepped down as of yesterday” and that “preparations are already underway to ensure a high-calibre Dayan is found”. No reasoning was given.

A prominent Charedi rabbi and one of only four Beth Din members, Abraham was born in London and educated at Hasmonean before studying and working in Gateshead, Jerusalem and Australia, where he was a member of the Melbourne Beth Din.

He returned to the UK in 2001 and at the age of 37 became a member of the London Beth Din. He has been a regular lecturer at the Kinloss Learning Centre and works with Tribe, which runs summer programmes for Jewish children in Years 5-13.

In 2016, he accepted a senior position at Shuvu, a network of day schools founded 1991 by Rabbi Avraham Pam.

In a statement, Abraham said: “It is with a sense of responsibility and sadness that I announce today that I will be stepping down from the London Beth Din. The Beth Din is a pillar of our community and it has been an absolute honour and privilege to serve as dayan over the past 17 years.”

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.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

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: