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Michael Melchior

(1951 - )

Rabbi Michael Melchior was born in 1954 in Denmark. He received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem. From a long line of Scandanavian rabbis, he has served as rabbi of a Jerusalem congregation since 1986, and also holds the title of Chief Rabbi of Norway (since 1980).

Melchior is International Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation as well as an administrator of varous human rights, immigration and educational organizations.

Among his many awards are the Norwegian Nobel Institute's Prize for Tolerance and Bridge-Building, and Yeshivat Hakotel's Award for Work in the Diaspora Rabbinate. Melchior has written numerous articles published in the Israeli and foreign press.

Since 1996, Rabbi Melchior has been the chairman of Meimad, a modern-Orthodox party, which in 1999 became a faction of One Israel. He was elected to the Knesset in May 1999. From August 1999 until March 2001, Melchior served as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, responsible for Diaspora and social affairs.

Michael Melchior served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 2001 until October 2002. In January 2005, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Sports.

He is married and the father of five.

Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs