• Regulations

    Preamble

     

    The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) is the voice of Judaism and the custodian of our tradition, the union of Rabbis of the Jewish Communities of Europe who seek to strengthen their voice and their mission, by transmitting the tradition of our fathers to the next generation of Jewish Europeans, defend our religious rights, and represent the interests of Judaism and the Jewish community of Europe to the European Institutions and to the governments of Europe.

    I. Membership:

    1. In order to become a member of the CER a person must:

    a. be a Rabbi with a Rabbinical ordination from an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi or an Orthodox
    Jewish in stitution.

    b. believe in the 13 Principle of the Jewish faith.

    c. be committed and practicing a life according to Jewish law’s and custom.

    d. live or / and work in Europe, or has lived and worked in Europe as in article 1.1.5.

    e. engage in Rabbinical work either full time or part time, or for many years were active in
    Europe in the rabbinate or in the teaching of Torah.

    f. conduct a synagogue service in accordance with Halacha as defined by the SC of the
    CER.

    g. fill out the necessary application form of the CER and possess all necessary
    recommendations.

    h. pay, on time, all CER membership dues.

    i. have not been convicted of any felony.

    2. For members the CER will:

    a. Certify Rabbis in good standing.

    b. Help place Rabbis within communities.

    c. Certify Rabbis who can issue kashrut certificates.

    d. Certify Rabbinical courts which can deal with conversions and divorces.

    e. Help Rabbis who may be in distress in their communities.

    f. Give political and legal advice to Rabbis regarding their employment rights.

    g. Defend Rabbis when attacked by external organisations.

    3. The Rabbis who are members of the CER will have to abide by the following rules:

    a. Rabbis will never attack another member of the CER in any media in another country of
    Europe, without the explicit sanction of the SC.

    b. Rabbis will support other members of the CER in distress.

    II. Standing Committee

    1. Membership:

    a. The supreme sovereign body of the Conference of European Rabbis is its Standing
    Committee, which meets in a major European city or in Israel twice a year.

    b. The Standing Committee is comprised of Rabbis who are members of the CER and conform to
    the standards of the CER and are ready to work with the CER and for the CER, attend its
    meetings and carry out its policy.

    c. A member of the CER SC cannot be a member of another European Rabbinical Organization
    without the explicit approval of the CER SC.

    d. All current members of the CER SC continue to be members of the SC as long as they hold
    their Rabbinical position as explained in paragraph 2a-7.

    e. Member of the SC who do not appear at the SC meetings three times consecutively, are
    automatically excluded from the SC, unless the member was unable to attend because of
    war, sickness or any act of G-d.

    f. When the SC looks to add new members to the SC it will add them according to the key
    provided in the paragraph 2a/8.

    g. Membership in the SC is limited to employed Rabbis, either serving as a minister of a
    Shul, community, city or country, or as a Dayan on an established, recognized Beis Din.
    Upon the termination of such employment, due to retirement, dismissal or any other
    reason, all positions must be vacated within six months and a special appointment or
    election (as appropriate) would be held for the vacated position. The exceptions to this
    rule are for officers of the CER, Rabbis who dedicate much of their time to the CER, or
    those who have a special expertise is needed in the CER.

    h. Rabbis eligible to become members of the CER SC:

    1. President
    2. Rabbinical Director
    3. Av Beis Din of the CER
    4. Chief Rabbi of the UK
    5. Senior Dayan of the London Beth Din
    6. Spiritual Head of the Spanish Portuguese Congregation in Great
      Britain
    7. Chief Rabbi of France
    8. Chief Rabbi of Paris
    9. A Senior Dayan from France
    10. Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg, Envoy to the Council of Europe
    11. Chief Rabbi of Rome (for Italy)
    12. Chief Rabbi of Brussels, Envoy to the EU (for Belgium)
    13. Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam
    14. Chief Rabbi of Ukraine
    15. Senior Rabbi from Switzerland
    16. Chief Rabbi of Russia or Moscow (for Russia)
    17. Dayan of the Moscow Beth Din
    18. Member of the Vorstand of ORD (for Germany)
    19. Leader of the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary (Germany)
    20. Senior Rabbi from Southern Europe (for Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar)
    21. Chief Rabbi of Austria
    22. Chief Rabbi of Poland
    23. Senior Rabbi from rest of Western Europe (Scandinavia, Luxembourg,
      Monaco)
    24. Senior Rabbi from rest of Central Europe (Hungary, Czech, Balkans,
      Turkey)
    25. Senior Rabbi from rest of FSU (Belarus, Baltics, Moldova, Georgia)

    i. All Rabbis holding the positions above, can only be elected to the Standing Committee,
    after being voted in as a member by the existing Standing Committee.

    j. In case of position 9, 17, the Chief Rabbi of the country and the Assembly of Rabbis at
    the CER Convention have to recommend the candidate for this position. If there is no
    consensus in the local Rabbinate, the SC will choose the candidate.

    k. In case of position 15, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25 the assembly of the Rabbis of the region
    present at the CER Convention will recommend a candidate to the SC.

    l. An additional 5 seats will be elected directly from the general membership, resulting in
    a Standing Committee of 30 members.

    1. If this is deemed too small by the SC, up to 15 more
      Rabbis from the general membership could be elected, resulting in a Standing Committee of up to 40 members.
    2.  If the SC decides that a new member should be elected to the SC and doesn’t want to wait until the next Convention, the SC can consult the Rabbis in the areas mentioned in paragraph 8 c, d and e and then elect a new member to the SC.
    3.  If the SC sees that a Rabbi in the CER does not live up the standards mentioned in paragraph 1.2 and 1.3, the SC can nominate a Honours Committee to decide on the membership of the Rabbi in the SC and the CER. The list in paragraph 2/8a can be amended by a two thirds majority of the SC, as with all other paragraph of this constitution.

     

    2. The task of the Standing Committee is to:

    a. elect a President of the organisation.

    b. elect Vice Presidents;

    c. elect members of the Presidium;

    d. elect the Av Beth Din of Europe;

    e. can elect a chairman of the SC in case he will be ready to assume responsibilities for the
    fundraising of the budget of the CER with the President;

    f. confirm new members of the SC;

    g. confirm the Executive staff of the organisation;

    h. confirm new members of the CER;

    i. discuss issues and policies of the CER during its deliberations;

    j. confirm the Cabinet;

    k. set the agenda for each meeting;

    l. decide where and when the next meeting of the SC will be;

    m. decide where and when the next convention will be;

    n. set policy and religious standards for the European Rabbinate;

    o. hold revisionary and oversight responsibility over the CER Charitable Trust registered in the
    UK.

    3. Rules of voting for resolutions and elections in the SC:

    a. Members of the SC are obligated to take part in all of the meetings of the SC. Members of the SC,
    who are unable to participate in a SC meeting must inform the rest of the committee in writing.
    Rabbinical Courts such as the LBD, and Rabbinical organizations such as the ORD, which have a
    seat in the SC can send another delegate to SC meetings in case the permanent member cannot
    participate in a SC meeting. The CR of the British Commonwealth and the CR of France can send
    personal delegates to the SC meetings in case of their absence, excluding SC meetings which take
    place during a CER plenary meeting.

    b. The date and location of SC meetings will be announced by the President at least 45 days before
    the meeting. The minimum quorum is 60% of the overall membership of the SC. In a case where
    meetings are not quorate but where issues need to be voted on in between SC meetings, the
    President can call for an online vote.

    c. The online vote has to have the participation of over 60% of the members of the SC, who have to
    vote: aye, nay, or abstain within a 48 hour period. A member of the SC who does not participate
    in a vote, is considered to be in violation of the code of conduct of the SC and can after three
    times be excluded from further online votes of the SC by the President.

    d. The sessions are to be chaired by the president. In case there is a chairman of the SC the
    sessions should be co-chaired or can be divided between the two. The President, or in absence of
    the President the SC, can also nominate a session chair. The nominated chair must be confirmed
    by the members of the SC.

    e. Resolutions which are being passed by the SC should be decided by consensus. By lack of consensus
    the chairman of the SC session can withdraw the resolution or elect to conduct a simple majority
    vote.

    f. All elections are to be decided by simple majority of those present. Changes in the regulations
    of the CER require a majority of the participating SC members.

    g. When electing a new president, candidates have to declare their readiness for the position in
    front of the SC, and affirm their readiness to dedicate enough time and find enough financial
    resources for the next five years for the CER.

    h. Elections for the President have to be by secret ballot. All other elections will be by an open
    ballot in the presence of all candidates.

    i. The official language of the CER and the SC is Hebrew.

    III. President and Presidium:

    1. The President

    a. is elected for a five year period and can be re-elected indefinitely;

    b. nominates the professional staff of the organisation;

    c. hires and directs the professional staff of the organisation;

    d. chairs the SC meetings;

    e. nominates a Cabinet comprising from 5 to 9 members of the SC;

    f. heads and speaks in the name of the CER to all governments and organisations;

    g. runs the day to day operation and the finances of the CER;

    h. signs documents in the name of the CER;

    i. sets the policy of the CER;

    j. is empowered to nominate a chairman of the SC to co-chair the SC meetings;

    k. is empowered to create a Board of Patrons to finance the activities of the CER, and will
    present the members of the Board of Patrons afterwards to the SC.

    l. is empowered to create daughter organizations of the CER to accomplish the goals of the CER
    after consulting with the SC;

    m. is empowered to sign agreements with governments, organizations and individuals in the name
    of the CER.

    2. The SC also elects a Presidium consisting of the President, the Av Beth Din of Europe, vice
    presidents, and past presidents of the CER.

    3. Presidium members can be assigned different tasks by the president and confirmed by the SC.

    4. In case of incapacitation of the president by death, illness, political turmoil, or by resignation,
    the presidium of the CER has to validate the fact that the president cannot anymore lead the
    organization and nominate within three month an acting president. Up until this time the oldest
    member of the presidium will function as interim president.

    5. If the SC is of the opinion that the incapacitated president can be brought back to a state where he
    can lead the organization, the SC can extend the mandate of the acting president up to one year. If
    by then the president has not recovered, the SC will elect a new president.

    IV. Cabinet

    1. If the SC is the parliament of the CER, the Cabinet is the government of the CER. When making any
    major policy or personal decision in between SC meetings, the president should consult with the
    Cabinet by email in order to be advised wisely.

    2. The Cabinet should comprise Rabbis available at all times who are ready to invest the time and effort
    for the CER and should preferably represent the different regions and major communities in
    Europe.

    3.  The cabinet should be nominated by the president and confirmed by the SC. The President has the right
    to ask a specific member of the cabinet to resign.

    4. If the President wants to add a new member to the cabinet it must be confirmed by the SC.

    5. The Cabinet will appoint two rabbis to be trustees of the CER UK Charity who will supervise and see
    to comply with the accountants of the CER UK Charity all which is necessary according to UK law.

    V. Executive

    1. The President heads the Executive.

    2. The President will hire professionals to run the CER and will have them confirmed by the SC. The
    President also has the right to fire a professional after consulting with the Cabinet in between SC
    meeting.

    3. The Executive is responsible for the day to day functioning of the CER, divided into three
    departments- Rabbinical, political and administrative.

    4.  The Rabbinical department is responsible to maintain halachic standards and will be guided by the Av
    Beth Din on halachic issues.

    5. The administrative department will provide services to the members, maintain relations with
    communities, organise meetings and conventions, manage the financial and legal back office
    operations, write letters and will be in touch with all the members of the CER.

    6. The political department coordinates representatives and policy functions, is in touch with the
    various governments and European institutions.

    7. The different departments might be combined if necessary, but ought to be kept separate when the
    organisation has the capacity to do so.

    8. The SC can decide to include its professionals in the SC.

    VI. General Assembly

    1. The General Assembly of the CER is the CER Convention. The Convention should take place once every
    two years in a place and time voted on by the SC.

    2. Every member of the CER should be invited to the Convention. The SC has the right to invite also non
    CER members to the Convention.

    3. The SC has six month prior to a convention to name a sub committee to designate the themes issues and
    guest speakers to be invited to the convention.

    4. During Conventions, CER members can elect candidates to the SC according to the CER Regulations. The
    candidates of the General Assembly, once confirmed by the SC will serve for two years until the next
    convention.

    5. If the elected candidate to the SC is rejected by the SC, the candidate with the next highest number
    of votes will be eligible to be confirmed by the SC.

    6. The SC will designate a panel of three Rabbis who will be the elections committee.

    7. Elections to the various positions on the SC will be conducted through a secret ballot.

    VII. Beth Din of Europe

    1. The Av Beth Din of Europe is the highest halachic authority of the CER.

    2. In case a constitutional question arises, and there is a dispute in the SC with interpretation of the
    constitution, the Beth Din of Europe will be the sole arbiter and legal instance to render a
    decision.

    3. In case of monetary disputes between employees of the CER and the CER, the Beth Din of Europe is the
    sole arbiter and legal instance to render a decision.

    4. The Av Beth Din of Europe is automatically member of the SC and the Presidium.

    5. The Av Beth Din of Europe chooses the other judges on the Beth Din, the secretary of the Beth Din and
    as well the place and date of the sessions of the Beth Din.

    6. A new Av Beth Din must be proposed by the majority of the Cabinet, and afterwards has to be confirmed
    by  the majority of the SC.

    7. The Av Beth Din is being elected for life until he dies, resigns, or if the Presidium has come to the
    conclusion that due to illness or political turmoil, the Av Beth Din cannot anymore lead the
    organization. In this case the Presidium will instruct the Cabinet to look for an acting Av Beth Din
    within three month.

    8. If the SC is of the opinion that the incapacitated Av Beth Din can be brought back to a state where
    he can lead the Beth Din, the SC can extend the mandate of the acting Av Beth Din up to one year. If
    by then the Av Beth Din has not recovered, the SC will elect a new Av Beth Din.