Rabbi Giles Bernheim, 56, has been elected the Grand Rabbi of France, replacing incumbent Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, 63, who was running for a second term. Rabbi Bernheim is a former university chaplain and leader of the largest Parisian congregation, the Synagogue de la Victoire. He has a history of willingness to dialogue with France's Catholic Church and recently published a controversial work on interfaith dialogue entitled “The Rabbi and the Cardinal,” detailing a long discussion between himself and Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.
Rabbi Sitruk, originally from Tunisia, had served as the chief rabbinical authority in France for more than twenty years. He is seen as more Orthodox than his replacement on halakhic [Jewish legal] matters.