Our Regional Guest | Rabbi Mendy Chitrik,
Chief Rabbi of Turkey, the founder and chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States.
Rabbi Chitrik grew up in Safed, to a Chassidic family; his great grandfather was Rabbi Yehuda Chitrik. He studied in the Chabad Yeshiva system, at the Rabbinical College of America (Bachelor of Religious Studies) and in Colel Tzemach Tzedek in Jerusalem. He received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem and the Chief Rabbi of Israel Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, as well as from his maternal grandfather Chief Rabbi David Moshe Lieberman, the Chief Rabbi of Antwerp.
He has published several books on Jewish life in Turkish and is in the midst of publishing a book on Turkish-Sephardic customs. Fluent in six languages, Rabbi Chitrik is likely the last rabbi in the world to deliver a weekly Torah class in Ladino. He is a sought-after lecturer on the history and customs of Turkish Jews.
Avi Melamed is an Expert on Current Affairs in the Arab and Muslim World and the founder of Inside The Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives. He is a former Israeli Senior Official on Arab Affairs. Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, Avi has held advisory and policy and high-risk counter-terrorist and intelligence positions throughout the region on behalf of the Israeli government. He has co-authored Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem. He has authored and co-authored several books, including Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth. His newest book, Inside The Middle East | Entering A New Era, was published in February 2022.