A Ministry for Religious Affairs report revealed that 22 Israeli towns have no chief rabbis to supervise kashrus, marriage and other religious affairs. Instead, substitutes are bought in from other towns, usually for one day a week.
The phenomenon is worst at Mevaseret Tzion west of Yerushalayim, where there has been no chief rabbi since 1996. Hod Hasharon has lacked a chief rabbi for 14 years and Kiryat Bialik near Haifa for 10.
Rav Chizkiyohu Samin prepared the list and blamed mayors, saying that they were either not interested in the involved process of electing a chief rabbi, which takes up to a year, or desirous to save money by not paying the salary.