Ben Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel

Ben-Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel (Hebrew: בן ציון מאיר חי עוזיאל‬, born 23 May 1880, died 4 September 1953) was the Sephardi chief rabbi of Mandatory Palestine from 1939 to 1948, and of Israel from 1948 until his death in 1953. In 1911, Uziel was appointed Hakham Bashi of Jaffa and the district. There he worked closely Abraham Isaac Kook, who was the spiritual leader of the Ashkenazi community. Immediately upon his arrival in Jaffa he began to work vigorously to raise the status of the Sepharadi, Temani, and other non-Ashkenazi communities there. In spirit and ideas he was close to the Kook, and their affinity helped to bring about more harmonious relations than previously existed between the two communities. Uziel was an advocate for strong relationships between the indigenous Arab population of the new State of Israel and Jews. He spoke fluent Arabic, and believed in peace and harmony between the two parties.


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