Monday, February 15, 2016

Rabbi Arie Folger elected Chief Rabbi of Vienna: Will he too be intimidated against helping oppressed children?

Rabbi Arie Folger was elected Chief Rabbi of Vienna this week, with the Blessings of Leading Rabbis and Sages of Israel and of the heads of the Conference of European Rabbis. [...]

Folger will replace the outgoing Chief Rabbi Chaim Eisenberg, who is retiring from Vienna's chief rabbinate but will continue to serve as Chief Rabbi of Austria.

“With the blessing and encouragement of Torah Sages, Hassidic rabbis, yeshiva heads, Rabbis and Sages, I accept upon myself the yoke of the Chief Rabbinate of Vienna, the city in which great sages of Israel, great rabbinic geniuses, Hassidic leaders and rabbis," Folger stated. "I will do all it takes to inspire loyalty to the Torah and enhance its glory, increase Jewish education and enhance religious institutions, unify the community and belabor to continue the holy work of my esteemed predecessor, Chief Rabbi Chaim Eisenberg." 

The 21 members of the Kultusrat, the Religious Council of the Jewish Community of Vienna, unanimously voted for him to serve as chief rabbi of the capital of Austria.

Folger will assume his post in June 2016, before the holiday of Shavuot. According to the community's constitution, he will serve for three months under the outgoing chief rabbi, as the senior rabbi of the community and will then take office as Chief Rabbi of Vienna. [...]

In his youth he studied under the late Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Treger at Yeshivat Etz Chaim in Antwerp, Belgium, a son in law of the late highly respected senior halachic authority RabbiShlomo Zalman Auerbach. He then studied in Gateshead, England, with Rabbi Abraham Gurvitz. Subsequently he studied in Israel for three years, at Yeshivat Mir, where he became close to Rabbi Yitchzak Ezrachi.

He then emigrated to the United States, where he first studied at Yeshiva Mesivta Rabbenu Chaim Berlin, under Rabbi Aharon Schechter, a member of the Council of Torah Sages of the Agudath Israel of America. Finally, he studied for five years at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, where he was ordained. The Hassidic Grand RabbiYaakov Yeshayahu Halberstam of Szmigrad also ordained him. [...]

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