Beth Din Zedek Ecclesiastical Judicature
of the Chicago Rabbinical Council
The Beth Din (also spelled Bais Din or Beit Din) is the Rabbinic
Court of the cRc. It is guided and led by our Av Beth Din (head of the Rabbinic Court), the world renowned
Torah scholar, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, shlit"a. The Beth Din hears and resolves cases involving Jewish law,
and financial disputes. It responds to all queries related to the practice and theory of our way of life.
It issues Gittin (Jewish Divorces), certificates of Geirut (conversions), and Teudot Ravakut (certificates
attesting to the status of the Jewish person) which are internationally recognized, and accepted by the
cRc Enhances Beth Din
Throughout the ages Jewish communities have settled their
internal differences and quarrels within the confines of their own borders, primarily by men and women
appearing before a Beth Din, a court of rabbis who were experts in Jewish law. The decision that was
binding upon litigants was based upon the principles of justice and fairness, with the ultimate goal
of preserving peace within the society.
Many years ago the Chicago Rabbinical Council created a Beth Din to function in this field,
and the dignity of Chicago Jewry was splendidly enhanced by this establishment. As the reputation of the Beth
Din grew, the number of cases brought before it rapidly increased until it became imperative to appoint
a full-time chief rabbinical judge. In 1987, the Chicago Rabbinical Council appointed to this position
a highly distinguished, nationally recognized Torah scholar, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, shlit"a,
whose published halachic decisions had earned world-wide respect.
Our community has found Rabbi Schwartz, shlit"a, to be a warm personality, an intelligent student
of the needs of a contemporary community, a gifted and popular spokesman for the welfare of all the people in
Metropolitan Chicago, and a wise mediator in a broad variety of disturbing situations resulting from the frictions
of human understanding. It has frequently been remarked, one of the best things the Chicago Rabbinical Council
did in the sixty years of its existence was to bring Rabbi Schwartz, shlit"a, to our city.
One very meaningful area of his specialization is Gittin. The Jewish divorces issued by the
Chicago Rabbinical Council have been honored all over the world for two generations, especially in Israel,
and Rabbi Schwartz, shlit"a, has a gentle approach to the ritual which spares the parties any unnecessary
discomfort. It is, therefore, not surprising that the majority of Orthodox Gittin issued in Chicago come
from the office of the cRc Beth Din.
Moreover, Rabbi Schwartz, shlit"a, has initiated a highly successful platform of outreach
activity by lecturing to large audiences of those who did not receive intensive educational guidance in
their early years, as well as graciously granting private interviews to people with religious issues. At
the same time, he has organized popular classes in halacha for rabbis and scholars, who credit him with
having improved the professional service they render in our community.
In addition to dealing in the area of Jewish divorce, the Jewish court deals with Jewish adoption,
conversion, cases of mediation, and legal disputes. The Chicago Rabbinical Council is proud to announce that
two additional distinguished rabbis have been added to our Beth Din to create a more prestigious Jewish court.
The rabbis are Rabbi Daniel Raccah, Rabbi of Sephardic Community Shaare Mizrah of Chicago, and Rabbi Ephraim
Friedman, a teacher of Bais Midrash Mikor Hachaim in Chicago. These two scholars bring many years of learning
experience to the Beth Din. The Chicago Rabbinical Council is confident that these two gentlemen will
enhance the Beth Din, not only due to their knowledge, but because like Rabbi Schwartz, shlit"a, have
similar approaches and compassion in difficult situations.
Rabbi Alan Abramson has been officially appointed as the Menahel (Administrator) of the Beth Din.
Rabbi Abramson coordinates the docket, arranges the witnesses, counsels potential visitors, and meets with the
If you would like further information regarding the Beth Din, please contact Rabbi Abramson by
phone at (773) 465-3900x106 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org