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Dr. Herzog Accepts Offer to Become Chief Rabbi of British Commonwealth

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Dr. Yaacov Herzog, Assistant Director General in the Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry and son of the late Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Israel, accepted today an offer tendered him by a seven-man delegation of British religious leaders of the post of Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth. Dr. Israel Brodie, the present Chief Rabbi, is retiring shortly.

Dr. Herzog told the delegation he was deeply moved by the honor and that he had decided to accept the post after deep contemplation and heart-searching. He expressed the hope that, as Chief Rabbi, he would have the full cooperation of all segments of British Jewry. A major doctrinal dispute rocked British religious Jewry last year.

Declaring that the “wrench of departure” from Israel had made his decision a difficult one to reach, he added that there was also present an urge to serve the cause of Judaism and the world spirit against a “background of faith and Jewish eternity.” He said he consulted last night on the offer with Premier Eshkol who told him that he would understand the acceptance.

Born in Dublin, Dr. Herzog served as Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, as Minister of Israel to Poland, and as director of the United States division of the Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry. He holds a law degree. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1948 by the late Rabbi I.S. Meltzer, head of Jerusalem’s Etz Hayim Yeshiva.

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