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New President of Israel Has Strong Links With Ireland

New President of Israel Has Strong Links With Ireland

Israel’s newly elected president, Isaac Herzog, has strong links to Ireland through his Irish-born father and grandfather, who lived in Ireland for nearly 20 years. The centre-left former leader of Israel’s Labour Party, who ran unsuccessfully against Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in the 2013 elections, was elected to the largely ceremonial office yesterday, 1 June, and will be officially inaugurated on 9 July.

Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Ireland 1922-36

Herzog’s father Chaim (1918-1997) also served two terms as Israeli president. He was born on Cliftonville Avenue in Belfast, the son of Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog (1888-1959), who served first as Rabbi of Dublin in 1919 and then as Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1922 and 1936. He was a fluent Irish speaker and a prominent supporter of the First Dáil in 1919, which earned him the nickname the ‘Sinn Féin Rabbi.’ After the foundation of Israel he became that country’s first Chief Rabbi.

 

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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