1st chief rabbi inaugurated in Albania - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews
 
ynetnews
web


   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Jewish
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Albanian Jewry

Rabbi Kaplan with Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar Photo: Meir Alfasi
Rabbi Kaplan with Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar Photo: Meir Alfasi
 
 

1st chief rabbi inaugurated in Albania

Rabbi Joel Kaplan's first task will be to import kosher food into southeastern European country. 'This will be the first time in 70 years that there will be a minyan in Albania,' he says

Ynetnews
Published: 12.17.10, 11:07 / Israel Jewish Scene

The first chief rabbi of Albania was inaugurated in Tirana last week in the presence of a representative of Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar.

 

Prime Minister Berisha had expected to attend but because of the floods in Albania, he sent his representative with a blessing and greeting to the new chief rabbi and the Jewish community.

 

New Emissary
Russia's Subbotnik Jews get rabbi / Ynetnews
Rabbi Shlomo Zelig Avrasin 's mission to focus primarily on community of Vysoky in southern Russia, to include teaching Hebrew and Judaism, organizing prayer services and conducting range of diverse educational activities for Jewish youth
Full story
The inauguration is the result of a meeting a number of months ago between Prime Minister Berisha and the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) in the RCE’s offices in Brussels. The RCE is an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Jewish communities in Europe.

 

During the meeting, the representatives of the RCE thanked Berisha for his efforts and expressed their gratitude for the great support and assistance that the Albanians have made for the Jewish community through sheltering and saving many Jews during the Holocaust.


Rabbis with PM Berisha's representative (Photo: Meir Alfasi) 

 

The RCE broached the subject of appointing Rabbi Joel Kaplan, who is affiliated with the RCE, as the first Chief Rabbi of Albania. Berisha consented to the idea. The ceremony, including the traditional agreement between a community and its new chief rabbi, was presided over by Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, Deputy Director of the RCE and Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, Head of the Rabbinical Court in Milano and founder of the RCE.

 

“The Rabbinical Centre of Europe’s mission is to assist any European Jewish communities, whether they are large of small, affiliated or non-affiliated,” Rabbi Arye Goldberg, Deputy Director of the RCE said. “Albanian Jewry has a long and illustrious history and the current community needs a spiritual leader to ensure its vitality and continuity.”

 

“The RCE thanks Prime Minister Berisha for his support and the fact that only the devastating floods kept him away from the inauguration is a testament to his commitment to the Albanian Jewish community.”

 

Reinvigorated Jewish community

The event was also attended by representatives from the Albanian Christian and Muslim communities.

 

During the RCE’s visit to Tirana, a Jewish center called "Moshe Rabenu" and a synagogue named after the visiting Chief Rabbi of Israel was inaugurated as "Hechal Shlomo".

 

Rabbi Kaplan will now preside over a reinvigorated Jewish community. “This will be the first time in 70 years that there will be a minyan (Jewish prayer quorum) in Albania,” Rabbi Kaplan said.

 

The rabbi’s first task will be to import kosher food into Albania and he will enjoy diplomatic status.

 

Rabbi Kaplan, formerly the Chabad emissary to Thessaloniki in Greece, had approached the RCE with the idea of reinvigorating the small Albanian Jewish community. The number of Jews in Albania is thought to be around 150, although these numbers are buttressed by large numbers of Jewish tourists and businessmen who visit the small nation.

 

Albanian Jewry dates back over 1,300 years, but was at its peak after many Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula made it their home. During the Communist era, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania banned all religions, including Judaism. After the fall of Communism in 1991, all but a small number of Albanian Jews moved to Israel.

 

 

commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Del.icio.us Bookmark to del.icio.us



 
9 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load

 

RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions

 
פיקוד העורף התרעה במרחב:
    רשימת יישובים במרחב