“Not a rabbi, not from Israel and without much knowledge of Judaism”.

For many years “Rabbi Jacob“served as a rabbi of the Jewish community in Poznan. He also met with the Bishop of Poland as a representative of the Jewish community. “We never even thought to check his papers” admitted Alicia Cobos, the head of the Jewish community, and vice president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in Poland.

“We believed him because of his appearance, and because he knew how to pray in Hebrew,” – this is how people in the community explained why they trusted the fake rabbi.

So who are you, «Rabbi Jacob»? If you will ask the members of the community in Poznan, Poland, their charismatic rabbi was born in Haifa and has a son serving in the Israeli army. Although the Polish newspaper “Glos Wielkopolski” (The voice of Poland) lately published an article claiming that the respected rabbi is probably not the person he claims to be.

“Not a rabbi, not from Israel, and without much knowledge of Judaism” – headlines in Polish newspapers screamed. According to the journalist Christoph Kzimirtz’k, who exposed the embarrassing affair, «Rabbi Jacob» admitted that he is not a real rabbi and he has never claimed this title from the rabbinate.

After the plot was discovered, Jacob disappeared. Several days after he was found in Ciechanow, according to the Polish media. Polish press (“Glos Wielkopolski”) claimed that the “Rabbi” is a regular Polish man known under the name of Jacek (Jacek Niszczota) from Ciechanów, he doesn’t really speak Hebrew and his knowledge in Judaism is very low.

According to the Times of Israel “Rabbi Jacob” had a fake rabbi Facebook page under the false identity and the page was removed shortly after the investigation has begun.

According to the JTA, it is not clear whether “Rabbi Jacob” have ever visited Israel.

One thing is clear – during all the years serving as a “Rabbi”; the guy became very popular and respectable.

In the community, he was organizing many Jewish activities to the local children, and was taking a part in the inter-religious rituals with the bishop of Poland, the priests and imams – all of that under the name of the Jewish community.

Here is also a commentary from Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich

Pan Jacek Niszczota (vel Jacoob Ben Nistell) nigdy nie pełnił roli rabina w Gminie Wyznaniowej Żydowskiej w Poznaniu. Nie był również zatrudniony w Gminie, ani nie był związany ze Związkiem Gmin Wyznaniowych Żydowskich żadną umową. Jest osobą prywatną i nigdy nie reprezentował Związku Gmin Wyznaniowych w Polsce ani Rabinatu. W Gminie pojawiał się jako gość lub jako wolontariusz.
Michael Schudrich
Naczelny Rabin Polski
Lesław Piszewski
Przewodniczący Związku Gmin Wyznaniowych RP

Official Statement
Mr. Jacek Niszczota, also known as Jacoob Ben Nistell, has never held a position of a rabbi in the Jewish Community of Poznan. Moreover he has never been hired by the Community, and has never been under a contract with The Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland. He is a private individual and has never represented the Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland nor the Polish Rabbinate. He visited Communal premises as a guest or a volunteer.
Michael Schudrich
Chief Rabbi of Poland
Lesław Piszewski
President of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland

הצהרה רשמית
מר יאצק נישצ’וטה, הידוע גם בכינוי יעקב בן ניסטל, אף פעם לא היה רב בקהילה היהודית בפוזנן. יותר מכך, הוא אף פעם לא הועסק על ידי הקהילה, ואף פעם לא חתם על חוזה עם איגוד הקהילות היהודיות בפולין. הוא אדם פרטי ואף פעם לא ייצג את איגוד הקהילות היהודיות בפולין או את רבנות פולין. הוא ביקר בשטח הקהילתי כאורח או כמתנדב.
מרדכי יוסף שודריך
הרב הראשי לפולין
לסלב פישבסקי
נשיא איגוד הקהילות היהודיות בפולין

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