Today: Election for Chief Rabbis of Yerushalayim, Rav Amar and Rav Stern Viewed as Favorites


yerushalayim-electionsThe charged electoral race for the positions of Ashkenazic and Sephardic chief rabbi of Yerushalayim Ihr Hakodesh come to a head today, when a 48-member electoral body of 24 representatives from the Yerushalayim City Council, 12 representatives designated by the minister of religious services, and 12 representatives designated by different shuls around the city will make their choices. The actual vote will take place today between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Yerushalayim city hall.

It is only two weeks since Rav Shlomo Amar – the 66-year-old former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel – threw his hat into the ring and announced his run for Sephardic chief rabbi of Yerushalayim. He has received support from Mayor Nir Barkat, Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennet and others.

He and 69-year-old Rav Aryeh Stern, a National Religious candidate who is running for Ashkenazic chief rabbi, are viewed as the favorites.

Other candidates for Sephardic chief rabbi include Rav Shmuel Eliyahu – who has received the support of Degel Hatorah – and Rav Chaim Amsalem.

Shas initially was viewed as backing Rav Eliyahu, but Rav Amar met with Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel Rav Yitzchok Yosef last week and this week received the support of Rav Shalom Cohen, head of the Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah of Shas.

For Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Degel Hatorah is supporting Rav Moshe Chaim Lau, a local rov in Netanya who is a son of former Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel Rav Yisroel Meir Lau and brother of current Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel Rav Dovid Lau.

Candidates who were running and have since dropped out include Rav Yehuda Rosenthal, Rav Eliyahu Schlesinger, Rav Yehuda Deri, Rav Mordechai Malka, Rav Avrohom Chanoch Kutnier and Rav Moshe Maimon.

{ Israel News Bureau}