Joseph Sitruk, Tunisian-born French rabbi, Died at 71


Rabbi Joseph Haïm Sitruk ( Born Joseph Sitruk) was born on October 16, 1944, in Tunis and died on September 25, 2016.

He was a former Chief Rabbi of France, a position he held from June 1987 to 22 June 2008.

Following a stroke in 2001 and recovering he added the name “Haim” to his name in line with Jewish tradition.

Joseph Sitruk graduated as a rabbi in 1970 following his studies in a rabbinical school, and was named Rabbi of Strasbourg before becoming the assistant of the Chief Rabbi Max Warchawski.

During 1975, Joseph Sitruk became Chief Rabbi of Marseille.

During 1987 he was elected to occupy the post of Chief Rabbi of France.

Then, Sitruk was re-elected for two more seven years terms.

Joseph Sitruk was married and father of 9 children.

Joseph Sitruk was also the president of the Conference of European Rabbis.

He was selected as a Commander of the Legion of Honor,on 16 March 2007.

Joseph lost his bid for re-election as Chief Rabbi of France on 22 June 2008, against Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who had previously run against him on the 1994 Chief Rabbinate elections and failed.

Sitruk was Orthodox.

Nonetheless, he may not have held religious and moral authority over all Jews in France, his charisma earned him a certain reverence, especially among Sephardi Jews.

Joseph Sitruk passed away at 71 years old.