Spain Bestows Citizenship on Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Shlomo Amar's office says he did not request the citizenship and that it was conferred as an honor in recognition of his work with Sephardi Jewry.

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.Credit: Emil Salman
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

The government of Spain has decided to grant Spanish citizenship to Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Haaretz has learned.

The decision to grant Moroccan-born Rabbi Amar Spanish citizenship came Friday, as part of a decision to grant citizenship to 200 Jews around the world. The move follows the granting of Spanish citizenship to an initial group of 4,300 Jews at the beginning of the year.

Rabbi Amar's office told Haaretz that the Spanish government conferred honorary citizenship on him in recognition of his work on behalf of the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, adding that he had not requested Spanish citizenship. Between 2003 and 2013, Rabbi Amar was the Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel.

Amar was born in Casablanca in 1948 and moved to Israel in 1962. In 2002, he served as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, a year before becoming Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi. He has been Sephardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem since 2014.

His office stated that since immigrating to Israel, Rabbi Amar has only held Israeli citizenship and that the Spanish citizenship that he is being offered would require his consent.

Spain passed a law last fall permitting Jews of Sephardi heritage to apply for Spanish citizenship. Hundreds of Israelis are waiting for consideration of applications that they have filed for Spanish citizenship over the past year through regular channels. The procedure requires that they pass a test of their knowledge of Spanish and of general knowledge about Spain in addition to submitting proof of Spanish family lineage.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can