The Chief Rabbinate

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is a spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel.

It is headed by two chief rabbis- an Ashkenazi rabbi and a Sephardi rabbi (also known as the Rishon lesion chief rabbi), who are elected for a 10-year term.

The roots of the Israeli rabbinate institute evolve through the history of the Ottoman Empire, British Mandate and the establishment of the state of Israel.

There are different religious authorities in Israel resulted from the variety of religious communities- Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc.

Matters of religious and personal status are determined by those authorities and are recognized by those communities.

The jurisdiction of the rabbinate includes many aspects of Jewish life in Israel, such as Jewish marriages, kosher certifications, Jewish learning seminars (yeshivot), etc.

The rabbinate also responds to Halakhic (Jewish Law) questions made by Jewish public organizations in the diaspora

List of chief rabbis of Israel:


  • Avraham Yitzhak Hachohen Kuk (1921- 1935)
  • Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog (1936–1959)
  • Isser Yehuda Unterman (1964–1972)
  • Shlomo Goren (1972–1983)
  • Avraham Elkana Shapira (1983–1993)
  • Yisrael Meir Lau (1993–2003)
  • Yona Metzger (2003–present)


  • Yaakov Meir (1921-1939)
  • Benzion Meir Chai Uziel (1939–1953)
  • Yitzhak Nissim (1955–1972)
  • Ovadia Yosef (1972–1983)
  • Mordechai Eliyahu (1983–1993)
  • Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron (1993–2003)
  • Shlomo Moshe Amar (2003–present)

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Additional information

The chief Rabbinate of Israel official website

Chief Rabbinate of Israel Law

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