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April 13, 2020 8:54 am

Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Dies After Contracting Coronavirus

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Benjamin Netanyahu (R), then the Likud candidate for prime minister, chats with Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, then Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi, May 17, 1996. Photo: Jim Hollander / Reuters.

A former Israeli chief rabbi has died after contracting the coronavirus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, in what is the country’s highest-profile death from the pandemic.

Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who served from 1993 to 2003 as the state’s top chaplain for Sephardim, or Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, succumbed late on Sunday to complications from the respiratory virus in a Jerusalem hospital, aged 79, Israeli media said.

“Tragically, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron contracted the coronavirus and doctors’ efforts to save him did not succeed,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

As of Sunday, Israel had reported 11,145 cases of the coronavirus and 103 deaths.

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