France’s chief rabbi refuses to step down amid scandal
Photo shows France's chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim in Dieulefit, southeastern France. Grand Rabbi Bernheim, was hunkering down away from the media on the weekend after admitting to plagiarism in a book he authored. AFP PHOTO/ JEFF PACHOUDFrance’s chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, refused to resign from his position on Tuesday amid outrage over his recent admission to several counts of plagiarism and allowing the public to falsely believe he was a qualified philosophy professor.
Bernheim, who fended off accusations over his academic record for weeks, quietly owned up to his guilt last Wednesday, as news broke that France’s former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac had confessed to stashing 600,000 euros away in an offshore bank account. While the rabbi’s admission was largely overlooked by French media in the frenzy caused by the Cahuzac scandal, many in the country’s Jewish community were shocked by the news.
Amid growing pressure to quit, Bernheim responded in an interview with France’s Radio Shalom, saying his resignation would amount to a “desertion”.
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