New York, NY, October 7, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed condolences to the people of Israel on the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s former Chief Sephardic Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Shas party, calling him a “towering rabbinic figure” who has greatly impacted Israeli and world Jewry.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will long be remembered as one of Judaism’s towering rabbinic figures who has left a lasting legacy for Sephardic Jews in Israel and for Jews all around the world.
As both a local and national figure, he was a strong and effective advocate for Israel’s Sephardic community, and along with his revered religious scholarship and decisions, his lasting legacy will be Sephardic activism in politics and leadership throughout Israeli society.
Rabbi Yosef was not without controversy and it is no secret that we disagreed with some of his statements in the past which we considered intemperate and biased.
We extend our condolences to the people of Israel and to Rabbi Yosef’s family and students.