After more than a decade of rancorous debates and court decisions over the election of two chief rabbis of Jerusalem, Aryeh Stern and Shlomo Amar were chosen for the roles.
By tradition Jerusalem has two chief rabbis, one who is Sephardic and one who is Ashkenazi. Sephardic Jews descend from communities in Spain and Northern Africa. Ashkenazi communities developed in Central Europe.
Some two years ago a group of journalists was invited to a meeting to discuss the election of a new Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Jerusalem. The post had been vacant for about six years. The mayor himself, Nir Barkat, was there, as was Rachel Azaria, a member of the city council who had organized the evening. The assembled journalists expected that some news would soon be announced.