A local journalist in a western Poland city discovered that the local "rabbi" is not a rabbi at all, never lived in Israel, is not familiar with Jewish customs, and does not speak or understand Hebrew, the Times of Israel website reports today (April 20, 2016).
"Rabbi" Jacob Ben Nistell claimed he was from Haifa, Israel. Members of the Poznan Jewish community believed him and decided to embrace him as a community rabbi, where he served for several years.
He admitted two weeks ago during an interview that he is not a rabbi. Krzysztof Kazmierczak, a reporter for "Glos Wielkopolski" (or "The Voice of Wielkopolski"), said that the alleged rabbi in fact is Jacek Niszczota and comes from Ciechanow, a town in north-central Poland.
"I'm surprised. I never checked his identity document. He said he comes from Haifa, his mother still lives there, and he has an Israeli passport and a son in the army," Alicja Kobus, head of the Poznan Jewish community and vice president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told "Glos Wielkopolski." Kobus added that Niszczota is in fact Catholic and previously worked as a cook.