18 Sivan 5779 , 21/06/2019

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Chief Rabbi of the Inter-Provincial Chief Rabbinate of the Netherlands

Director of Holland’s Vaad Harabbanim

Amsterdam, Holland

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs was born in 1949. His family has resided in Holland for centuries. In his youth, he studied in local schools and afterward attended a yeshivah in Holland. After completing those studies, he transferred to the Ecole de Paris Rabbinique Yeshivah in Paris, where he studied diligently for five years, and then transferred to the Lubavitch Talmudic High School of Brooklyn, N.Y. While there, he met and married his wife, a member of the Raskin family, and the couple moved to Israel, where he continued his studies in Nachalas Har Chabad (Talmud College of the Negev) for three years. Rabbi Jacobs rounded out his rabbinical studies as a disciple of Chief Rabbi Iser Yehudah Unterman in Yerushalayim.

Rabbi Jacobs received a number of offers to serve as rabbi in various locations, but it was his father’s wish that he return to the country where he was born. After consulting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe he returned to Holland, even though he had no job offers there. Upon his arrival he was appointed rabbi of Amersfoort, where Europe’s only Jewish psychiatric hospital was located. Today, many years later, he is still considered the hospital’s chaplain. He oversees the kashrus of its kitchen and is consulted for all halachic aspects of patient care. In this capacity he assists thousands of patients annually.

Six years after Rabbi Jacob’s arrival in Holland, Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berlinger, z”l, the late Chief Rabbi of Holland, proposed that Rabbi Jacobs serve as his assistant. The two men worked together until Rabbi Berlinger’s passing. After that, for the next 23 years, Rabbi Jacobs served as “substitute Chief Rabbi.” Finally, in 2009, he was officially named Holland’s Chief Rabbi and chairman of the Rabbinical Council for the Netherlands.

Currently, some 40,000 Jews live in Holland, scattered throughout its various provinces. Rabbi Jacobs travels all over the country to deliver Torah classes on an almost daily basis. He is a regular contributor to newspapers and also anchors a radio program. With all this, he finds the time for private consultations with the Jews who turn to him for assistance.

Rabbi Jacobs is keenly involved with local politics, maintaining a close relationship with elected officials and other religious leaders in Holland. He is well-known for his open relationship with the non-observant Jewish community.
As an active member of the RCE’s Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Jacobs meets regularly with European government officials and representatives of the European Union to protect Jewish interests and to enhance Jewish life in Europe’s Jewish communities. He likewise heads the European beis din dealing with converts, which is under the auspices of the RCE and is recognized by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.
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