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Rabbi Jacob Meir

(1856 - 1939)

Rabbi Jacob Meir was born in Jerusalem in 1856. Meir became the first Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel. Meir was at the forefront of the cause to revive Hebrew as a living language. He was chosen Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in 1911. When the office of Chief Rabbi of Palestine was established in 1921, he was elected to fill the post with the title Rishon Le-Zion (First to Zion). Rabbi Meir was awarded the French Legion of Honor and received decorations from British, Turkish and Greek governments as well as Hussein, king of Hejaz.

Sources: Bard, Mitchell G. and Moshe Schwartz. 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know About Israel. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.