Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Arye Stern at Independence Day dinner, April 22, 2015.
(photo credit: SHLOMI COHEN)
Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Arye Stern hosted a dinner on Wednesday night to celebrate Independence Day with Supreme Court justices, professors, authors, Israel prize laureates and other distinguished figures.
Stern’s office described the event as “a celebration of the return of religious Zionist values to the world of the state rabbinate,” noting that most official senior rabbinical positions have in recent decades been occupied by haredi figures.
Stern, who is one of the leading and most respected rabbinical leaders in the national religious world, was elected to be Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Jerusalem in October 2014, alongside the haredi Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar.
Present at the celebratory meal were Supreme Court Justices Elyakim Rubinstein and Noam Sohlberg, as well as Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan and novelist Haim Be’er among others.
Stern addressed those assembled and spoke of his plans to reform and advance the activities of the rabbinate in Jerusalem.
“We have many plans for the rabbinate in the field of kashrut, marriage, mikvaot and others, with the purpose of turning make [these services] enlightened and welcoming which will make things easier on the general public and will help people reconnect with religious practice,” said the rabbi.