Justice Ministry voids religious appointments that were rushed through before Knesset dissolved

The Justice Ministry has canceled a series of appointments by the Religious Affairs Ministry to local religious councils around the country, citing serious procedural issues and a lack of female representation, and noting that some of the candidates have a criminal history.

In a letter to Religious Affairs Minister Yaakov Avitan, Deputy Attorney General Erez Kaminitz informs him the nominations greenlit last week have been voided.

Kaminitz says the 16 appointments — which were pushed through as the government dissolved — were plagued by “significant shortcomings.”

The candidates were not appropriately vetted by the government’s legal authorities; the appointments lack appropriate female representation (just 1 of the 16 was a woman, and her position was junior); and most did not undergo background criminal checks, says Kaminitz. The letter says some of the candidates had been convicted in the past of “serious crimes” and others are being investigated. It also underlines that the appointments were approved hours before elections were called.