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December 23, 2010 4:28 am

Albania Gets First Chief Rabbi

avatar by Joshua Freedman

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A former Chabad Lubavitch emissary has been appointed Chief Rabbi of Albania, the first to hold the position. Rabbi Joel Kaplan, previously the Chabadsheliach to Thessaloniki in Greece, was formally installed in the presence of Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania and Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. The country has some 150 Jews, but a large number of Jewish tourists and businessmen visit the small country. Its Jewish population was bolstered by the influx of Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal. Most Albanian Jews moved to Israel after the fall of Communism, under which religions were banned.

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