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Chief Rabbinical Judges (Av Beit Din)

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Jewish communities throughout the world have had a court system separate from that of the surrounding non-Jewish communty called a "beit din". This three-member panel of judges is headed by the "Av Beit Din" (ABD). The project here seeks to compile a list of historical and contemporary chief judges.

The Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem

  • Levi ibn Habib (b. Spain) (1525 - 1545)
  • David ibn abi Zimra - The Radbaz (b. Spain) of the Egyptian rabbinate (1545 - ?)
  • Moshe Galante I of Rome
  • Haim Vital (b. Italy) (1577 - 1585)
  • Bezalel Ashkenazi (? - 1594)
  • Gedaliah Cordovero
  • Isaac Gaon?
  • Israel Benjamin
  • Jacob Zemah (b. Portugal) (? - 1667)
  • Samuel Garmison (b. Greece)

Rishon LeZion 1665–1842

  • Moshe Galante II (? - 1689)
  • Moses ibn Habib (b. Greece) (1689 - 1696)
  • Moshe Hayun
  • Avraham Yitzhaki (b. Greece)
  • Benjamin Maali
  • Eleazar Nahum (b. Turkey)
  • Nissim Mizrahi
  • Isaac Rapaport
  • Israel Algazy served until 1756
  • Raphael Meyuchas served 1756–1791
  • Haim ben Asher
  • Yom Tov Algazy—during whose reign, the French armies of Napoleon invaded Palestine. served until 1802
  • Moshe Meyuchas served 1802–1805
  • Jacob Aish of the Maghreb
  • Jacob Coral
  • Joseph Hazzan (b. Turkey)
  • Yom Tov Danon
  • Solomon Suzin—in 1831, Palestine was briefly conquered by Egypt under Muhammad Ali.
  • Jonah Navon—Palestine returned to the Ottoman Empire.
  • Judah Navon

The Hakham Bashi 1842–1918

  • Avraham Haim Gaggin (b. Turkey)
  • Isaac Covo
  • Chaim Nissim Abulafia (b. 1795, Tiberias; d. 1860, Jerusalem)[11]
  • Haim Hazzan (b. Turkey)
  • Avraham Ashkenazi (b. Greece)
  • Raphael Panigel (b. Bulgaria)
  • Jacob Saul Elyashar
  • Jacob Meir
  • Eliahu Panigel
  • Nahman Batito
  • Nissim Danon (? - 1917) In 1917 Palestine was occupied by the British.
  • Haim Moshe Eliashar (1917 - 1921) as Acting Chief Rabbi.

Chief Rabbinate of Israel

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel (הרבנות הראשית לישראל) is recognized by law as the supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate Council assists the two chief rabbis, who alternate in its presidency. It has legal and administrative authority to organize religious arrangements for Israel's Jews. It also responds to halakhic questions submitted by Jewish public bodies in the Diaspora. The Council sets guides, and supervises agencies within its authority.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel consists of two Chief Rabbis: an Ashkenazi rabbi and a Sephardi rabbi, also known as the Rishon leZion. The Chief Rabbis are elected for 10 year terms.

Eretz Israel

  • Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1921-1935) & Yaakov Meir (1921-1939)
  • Yitzhak Halevi Herzog (1936-1948) & Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1939-1948)

State of Israel

  • Yitzhak Halevi Herzog (1948-1959) & Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1948-1954)
  • Issar Yehuda Unterman (1964-1973) & Yitzhak Nissin (1955-1973)
  • Shlomo Goren (1973-1983) & Ovadia Yossef (1973-1983)
  • Avraham Elkana Shapira (1983-1993) & Mordechai Eliyahu (1983-1993)
  • Israel Meir Lau (1993-2003) & Eliyahu Baksji Doron (1993-2003)
  • Yona Metzger (2003-2013) & Shlomo Moshe Ammar (2003-2013)
  • David Lau (2013 - ) & Yitzhak Yossef (2013 - ) term till 2023