Jewish Leaders


Rabbi Bakshi Doron has written dozens of articles dealing with religious issues. His first book (1982) researches halachic questions, and the second (1989) and third (1995) volumes deal with daily halachic issues and include orations given by him on special occasions. He serves as president of the Israeli Sephardic Community Committee, as president of various charity foundations and is a member of the directorate of LIBI.

Rabbi Bernheim has been serving as chief rabbi of France since 2008 and before then was head rabbi at the Great Synagogue de la Victoire, the largest synagogue in Paris. He currently chairs the Committee on Medical Ethics at the Consistory of Paris and is also vice-president of the Jewish-Christian Friendship of France. Bernheim is well known for building bridges between Jews and other communities and religions, and is greatly respected for his writings on the topic.

Rabbi David Bigman, Israel

Rabbi David Bigman is the head of the Maale Gilboa Yeshiva since 1995. Rabbi Bigman studied in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and in Yeshivat Netzech Yisrael and received smicha at Mechon Ariel in Haifa. From 1983 until 1988, Rabbi Bigman served as the Rabbi of Kibbutz Maale Gilboa and from 1987 until 1992 he served as Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivat haKibbutz HaDati Ein Tzurim. He is active in issues pertaining to society and halacha, and in dialogue between secular and religious Israelis as well as between members of different faiths in Israel.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Israel

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow (1957) is head of the Chesder Yeshiva of Petach Tikvah.  He is a graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion and was ordained as a Rabbi by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Rabbi Cherlow is one of the founders and leaders of the Tzohar Institute, set up after the assasination of Yitzchak Rabin to bridge the secular and religious sectors of Israeli society.  Tzohar set itself the goal of returning the figure of the Rabbi to the centre of Israeli discourse, and making the Rabbi the one to whom anyone can turn; bringing him 'out of the Beit Midrash and making him available to the mainstream of Israeli society'.  He currently serves as the head of the Religious and Ethics Center in Jerusalem.


Rabbi Cohen serves as Chief Rabbi of Haifa. He is also the Founder and President of Ariel and President of the Haifa District Rabbinical Courts. Rabbi Cohen has achieved wide recognition for his work in bridging differences and solving internal divisions within Israeli society and the Jewish world.


Rabbi Menachem HaCohen currently serves as chief Rabbi of Romania. His rich rabbinic and public career includes many years in army chaplaincy, and service as a Rabbi of labor unions as well as of the labor settlements in Israel. A prolific writer and educator, he also served for 14 years as a member of the Israeli parliament.

The International Jewish Committee On Interreligious Consultation, USA

IJCIC, the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, represents the major Jewish religious streams and communal agencies, develops and coordinates relations with the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches, the Orthodox Church and other international central religious bodies. IJCIC provides ongoing consultations, promotes and participates in conferences, forums and dialogues on behalf of world Jewry to promote interfaith cooperation and to develop common agendas among religious communities.


Rabbi Berel Lazar was elected Chief Rabbi of Russia in 2000. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the World Congress of Russian Jewry and Chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of the CIS. Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar opened Russia's first Jewish, post-communist day school and currently oversees 80 educational institutions. He is a leading advocate of religious freedom and human rights in Russia.

Rabbi Richard Marker, USA

Rabbi Richard Marker, currently Vice Chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, has been involved in interfaith matters his entire career.  His academic degrees are in comparative religion; he has worked as a Chaplain in an interfaith chaplaincy at one of the Ivy League Universities in the US; he has chaired numerous interfaith dialogue groups; he has taught Jewish theology at a Jesuit University and elsewhere; he has lectured at various schools of theology and universities both in Europe and the United States; and has been involved with the Board of World Religious Leaders since its inception.  Currently he teaches Philanthropy at New York University.


Since 1980, Rabbi Michael Melchior has held the position of Chief Rabbi of Norway. He is the International Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation as well as an administrator of various human rights, immigration and educational organizations. Since 1996, Rabbi Melchior has served as Chairman of Meimad, a modern-Orthodox political party in Israel. He was elected to the Israeli Parliament in May 1999. Rabbi Melchior has received the Norwegian Nobel Institute's Prize for Tolerance and Bridge-Building.

Rabbi Mordechai Peron, Israel

Rabbi Mordechai Peron served in the IDF since its conception in 1948. From 1971-77 he served as the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. Rabbi Peron served for 12 years as the Chief Rabbi of Zurich. Rabbi Peron is the author of numerous books and publications on Judaism. Rabbi Peron is a member of the steering committee of the President and Prime Minister's Memorial Council to commemorate former Israeli Prime Ministers and Presidents.

Gilla Rosen, Israel

Gilla Rosen is Dean of the Yakar Centers for Tradition and Creativity in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Founded in England by Rabbi Michael Rosen, Yakar is a place to pray and study with passion and openness and to engage in social action. Gilla directs study programs and teaches Talmud and Midrash at Yakar and Nishmat, a center for women's advanced study, and she also works as a Yoetzet Halakha (advisor in Jewish family law). She lives in Jerusalem with her children and grandchildren.

Rabbi David Rosen, Israel

Rabbi David Rosen is the Director of the Department for Interreligious Affairs and Director of the Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding of the American Jewish Committee. Rosen is the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and served as a Professor of Jewish Studies at the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. He serves on the permanent bilateral commission of the State of Israel and the Holy See as well as on the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations.

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, England

Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks has been Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since September 1, 1991, the sixth incumbent since 1845. Prior to becoming Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Sacks had been Principal of Jews' College, London, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary, as well as rabbi of the Golders Green and Marble Arch Synagogues in London. He gained rabbinic ordination from Jews' College as well as from London's Yeshiva Etz Chaim.

Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rene Sirat, France

Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rene Sirat holds a PhD in Hebrew Language and Literature. He has taught at the Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the University of Paris and served as Chief Rabbi of France from 1981-87. He is currently Chief Rabbi of the Central Consistory and Vice Chairperson of the Conference of European Rabbis. As holder of a UNESCO Chair for the Mutual Knowledge of Religions of the Book and the Teaching of Peace, he is involved in a variety of interfaith teaching and research, through a variety of academic institutes of which he is president.

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp

Sjalom Awraham Soetendorp is Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Community in The Hague (The Netherlands). He presides over the European Region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and serves as Earth Charter Commissioner and is a Founding Board Member of the Green Cross International. Since 1993, Awraham Soetendorp has been co-chair of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders with Sheikh Ahmed Kuftaro, Grand Mufti of Syria. He acts as advisor to the American Jewish World Service and is the Founder and Chair of the Hope Foundation for Children for Universal Education.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, UK

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of The Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK. He is a leading writer and thinker on Judaism. Rabbi Wittenberg is the author of The Three Pillars of Judaism, The Eternal Journey: Meditations on the Jewish Year, and The Silence of Dark Water: An Inner Journey.