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Israeli ultra-orthodox rabbi to be honored by Elizabeth II

December 31, 2013 20:47

Isaac Schapira, a prominent member of Israel’s ultra-orthodox community, will be appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, one of the United Kingdom’s highest honors, for his work in “strengthening the ties between the UK and the Haredi community,” the British embassy announced Tuesday.

Schapira, the son of former United Torah Judaism leader Rabbi Abraham Yosef Schapira, said that he is “deeply honored” to receive the award and that he sees it as a “mark of great respect” for the haredi community. The British government has shown “ warmth and [a] supportive attitude” towards the haredim, he said.

The award is one of the UK’s highest government honors given to civilians and non-British citizens, and will be presented at an upcoming Buckingham Palace ceremony by the queen. Schapira will not be granted the use of the honorific "sir" before his name.

British Ambassador Matthew Gould stated that Schapira’s work has "helped us build a friendship and understanding between Britain and the Haredi community." He added that, "Isaac has devoted a huge amount of time over many years to helping me and my predecessors get to know this vital and important part of Israeli society.”

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