France’s Grand Rabbi, the leader of the country’s Jewish community, has resigned.
Gilles Bernheim left his post with immediate effect after admitting to plagiarism and lying about an academic status on his CV.
The scandal erupted last month when he was accused of using text from the late French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard.
Initially Bernheim claimed it was Lyotard who was the plagiarist.
Joel Mergui, the president of the central consistory, called on Jews not to judge Rabbi Bernheim too harshly: “I ask the Jews of France to continue to respect the work done by Rabbi Gilles Bernheim and to continue to trust our institutions, our consistory and the different authorities across France.”
A caretaker will perform the duties of Grand Rabbi until a successor is chosen.
France is home to some 500,000 Jews and represents the largest community of its kind in Europe.