Finland Has New Israeli-Born Chief Rabbi

By JTA

Published January 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Finland’s new chief rabbi is Simon Livson, the 30 year-old Israeli born son of Finns.

Livson was officially installed as chief rabbi on Jan. 13, taking over from Rabbi Moshe Edelman.

Livson, who describes himself as modern-Orthodox, immigrated to Finland in 1989 when his parents returned to their country of origin and its Jewish community, numbered at about 1,400 by the European Jewish Congress.

He later studied at an Israeli yeshiva that is part of the Ohr Torah Stone educational institutions founded by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, and at in the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York.

Livson lives in Helsinki with his Israeli-born wife, Sivan Glazer-Livson, and their two-year-old daughter.

Livson assumes the position in the midst of a discussion in Finland about whether to label Israeli products as possibly originating from the West Bank, and shortly after a heated national debate about whether to ban circumcision.

“My position may require more politics than expected of a regular rabbi, but I have no intention of becoming a politician,” he told JTA. “I am here to serve the spiritual needs of the community and answer general questions about Judaism, not to debate the settlements. As for the discussion on circumcision, it has died down in past weeks and I hope this is the calm after the storm.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.