UK rabbi in sexual assault probe to conduct wedding

Orthodox Union of Hebrew Congregations gives Chaim Halpern approval to officiate at Finchley synagogue on Wednesday

Rabbi Chaim Halpern (photo credit: courtesy)
Rabbi Chaim Halpern (photo credit: courtesy)

LONDON — Rabbi Chaim Halpern, who is currently under police investigation in relation to claims of sexual assault and perverting the course of justice, will conduct a wedding under the auspices of the Orthodox Union of Hebrew Congregations on Wednesday afternoon, The Times of Israel learned.

The father of the bride, Moshe Bunim Meyer, who is a member of Halpern’s synagogue in the Jewish heartland of Golders Green, said he had permission for the arrangement from Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the OUHC.

Halpern, a former religious judge for the organization, was arrested and questioned by the Metropolitan Police in February and is currently out on bail.

He has not been charged and denies all wrongdoing.

The wedding this week will take place on the grounds of Finchley United Synagogue, which is affiliated with another Orthodox group, the United Synagogue. Until recently, the rabbi of the shul was the next British chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

According to a United Synagogue spokesman, “The US cannot simply ban an individual who has neither been convicted nor charged with any offence.”

Michael Mannes, who handles weddings for the OUHC, would not comment.

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