The suspects were part of a scheme to award the title of ordained rabbi to people in the Israel security forces who had not obtained the required qualifications between 1998 and 2003. At the time, “advanced religious studies” accompanied by an ordination certificate, entitled Israel Defense Forces and police personnel to bonuses of up to 4,000 shekels ($1,149).
Among those convicted were Rabbi Meir Rosenthal, who served as former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger’s chief of staff, and Rabbi Yitzhak Ohana, director of examinations of the chief rabbinate. They were convicted of crimes including aggravated fraud, use of forged documents and money laundering.
Students in their classes received false documents, stating they had completed a five-year course, when in fact their studies were considerably shorter.
Rosenthal earned two million shekels ($574,877) from the plot, court records said.