Under fire again, Lau accused of cheating on ordination exam

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi David Lau, the recently elected chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Israel, has been accused of cheating on an ordination exam.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported Sunday that Lau in 1993 brought papers that had questions and answers to previous exams on it into one of his ordination tests. Reference material is not permitted in ordination exams.

The papers did not have Lau’s name on them.

Lau was disqualified from the exam. He took and passed the test in 1994, the year he received his ordination.

Late last month, Lau was elected to serve as Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi for the next ten years.  Channel 2 reporter Amit Siegal said that the channel had received information accusing Lau of cheating on the exam on the eve of the election, but refrained from reporting on it as it attempted to verify the accusation, the Times of Israel reported. The news channel received a signed affidavit documenting the incident from Rabbi Uzi Levi, the test’s proctor and a senior official in the Chief Rabbinate’s ordination department

Last week Lau came under fire for using a racist slur in describing Israeli and foreign basketball players.