President Moshe Katsav attacked Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, on Sunday, stating that Yoffie “should approach the appropriate authorities” if he is dissatisfied with the way the president addresses him.
The attack came a week after the president spoke at the Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem when he called Yoffie “Sir” and “Mr.” instead of rabbi.
While Yoffie took offense at this, Katsav said that he is accustomed to addressing Orthodox-ordained rabbis as "rabbi."
Katsav noted that he has opened up his home to more streams of Judaism more than any other president and to avoid conflict with the chief rabbis of Israel, who are orthodox, he uses the title, “Reform Rabbi” to identify the rabbis of the movement. “It's too bad they have made something marginal into their defining issue,” Katsav said.