Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, recently paid a visit to Yeshiva University in the United States. He gave a Torah lecture to students at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and met with several rabbis and teachers at the school.
“Chief Rabbi Amar is a towering personality in the world Jewish community and an outstanding Torah scholar,” said RIETS dean Rabbi Yona Reiss.
Yeshiva University is “privileged to have this opportunity to solidify our strong relationship with the Chief Rabbinate and work together earnestly for the benefit of Klal Yisrael [the whole nation of Israel],” both in Israel and the Diaspora, he added.
Sephardic students in particular were pleased by the rabbi's visit. “It means a lot to the Sephardic students on campus to meet and interact with the Rishon LeTzion,” said student Yosef Sharbat.
Rabbi Shlomo Amar has served as one of Israel's two Chief Rabbis since 2003, alongside Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Chief Ashkenazi rabbi. He has been involved in restoring ties with lost Jewish communities in Ethiopia and India.
He has also been involved in efforts to pass a law regulating conversion to Judaism. While the law has won support among both secular and religious legislators in Israel, it has faced opposition from Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders in America. Rabbi Amar wrote a letter to the New York Times in August in order to explain the bill.
Yeshiva University combines Torah observance and education with higher education and liberal arts. More than 6,400 students are enrolled in the various YU campuses, which include schools of law, medicine, and psychology.