Yitzchak Schochet

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Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet is an Orthodox rabbi in England.

He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to the family of an unbroken chain of rabbis stretching back for two centuries. His father is Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet, a Chabad rabbi and scholar. He is married and has five children.

Yitzchak Schochet was educated in Toronto, London and New York.[1] He received his semichah (rabbinic ordination) in 1988, and a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from the University College London in 1994.

He was Rabbi of Richmond Synagogue from 1991 to 1993 before being offered the position as rabbi of the Mill Hill Synagogue, at the age of 28, in 1993.

Having previously served as assistant principal of Oholei Torah Boys School in Brooklyn, NY, and having taught Advanced Jewish Studies at the Jews Free School in London, he currently serves as Hon. Principal of the Rosh Pinah Primary School in Edgware and the Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School in Mill Hill.

He was mentioned by the Jewish press as a possible contender for the position of Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, but in an article published in The Jewish Chronicle he stated that he would not apply, because as a Lubavitch follower, his application would be overlooked.[2]

In an editorial published in The Jewish Chronicle on 14 February 2013, Rabbi Schochet argues that under the current system where prison offers no rehabilitation, child molesters should not be sent to prison as this serves to discourage reporting by victims and is unfair to the molesters. "While one might face a fair trial, it is difficult to suggest that one gets a fair punishment. Judaism frowns on the general notion of a prison system. The idea of remaining locked up like an animal in a cage for so many years is deemed inhumane and self-defeating. And while it can be rightly argued that one has to adhere to the law of the land and thus to know in advance that doing the crime means you’ll be doing the time, nonetheless, the prison system is hardly serving the purpose it was surely intended for."[3] He says prisons currently only offer one true benefit, instead of a full package: they "keep society protected from repeat offenders, the one aspect of incarceration which Judaism does sanction and which, arguably, could be applied to many sex offenders. But prisons should also be expected to help rehabilitate".[3]

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