Gilles Bernheim was accused of plagiarism in two books
The chief rabbi of France has resigned after admitting to plagiarism in two books and to deception about his academic credentials.
The Paris Central Consistory, the top Jewish religious organisation in France, announced Gilles Bernheim's resignation but gave no further details.
Bernheim, 60, a modern Orthodox Jew who was elected to the seven-year post in 2008, was respected by other religious leaders as an active participant in interfaith dialogue. His booklet opposing the government's plan to legalise same-sex marriage won praise from the former pope Benedict.
Last month a blogger accused him of copying a 1996 text by the late French post-modernist philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard for use in his book Forty Jewish Meditations, published in 2011. After initially denying the report, Bernheim later admitted that Lyotard had written the disputed passage.
Last week another blogger accused Bernheim of plagiarism in an earlier book, published in 2002, and L'Express magazine revealed that Bernheim had not earned the prestigious title of philosophy professor that was often attached to his name.
Although his official biography did not mention him passing the agrégation, the highly selective examination needed to qualify as a professor, Bernheim never disputed the title when it appeared in newspaper articles and publicity for his books.
Jim Newell 12 Apr, 2013
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