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Rabbi Yosef Reports Successful Visit to Iranian Jewry

June 4, 1976
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Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef returned today from a nine-day visit to the Jewish community of Iran. He reported success in stimulating greater contributions to Israel from wealthy Iranian Jews and in resolving a feud between Iran’s three rabbis. But reports that the Shah would receive Rabbi Yosef proved erroneous. It is believed here that the Shah did not want to embarrass another important visitor to Teheran, King Khaled of Saudi Arabia, by granting an audience to the Israeli Chief Rabbi.

Yosef said he visited the Jewish communities in Teheran and Shiraz where he spoke in packed synagogues on halachic problems and urged greater religious observance. He said he also urged more generous giving to Israeli appeals and charities and drew a favorable response from some affluent Iranian Jews who had not heretofore “fully taken upon themselves” the responsibility of contributing to Israel. Rabbi Yosef will go abroad again next week to visit Sephardic communities in France.

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