Charity Commission contacts London shul over invitation to Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi
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Charity Commission contacts London shul over invitation to Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi

Watchdog says it's 'engaging with the trustees of Beth Hamdedrash Knesset Yehezkel' after the synagogue agreed to host controversial Israeli figure

Rabbi Aharon Bassous
Rabbi Aharon Bassous

The Charity Commission has contacted a London shul’s trustees amid concerns over its plans to host a controversial rabbi from Israel.

The watchdog told Jewish News it will be speaking with Beth Hamdedrash  Knesset Yehezkel in Golders Green, whose rabbi is controversial Charedi leader Rabbi Aharon Bassous, in light of invitation to Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi – who may face a ban from the UK.

Mizrachi has been criticised by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and others for his views, including his claim that fewer than a million halachic Jews were killed in the Holocaust, that Down’s Syndrome and autism are punishments for previous sins, and that blind children are serving penance for watching pornography in a past life.

The Charity Commission told Jewish News: “We will be engaging with the trustees of Beth Hamdedrash  Knesset Yehezkel in connection with its plans to host an external speaker to determine whether this gives rise to regulatory concerns. Trustees should ensure all their charity’s activities further their charitable purposes and mission.”

Beth Hamdedrash  Knesset Yehezkel, which is a registered charity, is lead by a controversial Charedi leader, Rabbi Aharon Bassous.

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi

He was said to have compared his opposition to the chief rabbi to resistance to Nazism – after a tape emerged of an unnamed person relaying passages from rabbi Bassous’s Shabbat address last Saturday.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Rabbi Mizrachi may face a ban by the Home Office, due to his views, ahead of his UK tour planned for this week.

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