Melchior, Michael

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MELCHIOR, MICHAEL (1954– ), rabbi and Israeli politician. Born in Copenhagen, the son of Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior, Melchior studied in Israel at Yeshivat ha-Kotel after high school. He was ordained in 1980 and in the same year became the first chief rabbi of Oslo and was largely responsible for the community's renaissance (see *Norway; *Oslo). After six years he returned to Israel but continued to serve Norwegian Jewry. In Israel he entered politics and was elected to the Knesset in 1999 as a representative of Meimad, a moderate religious party aligned with the Labor Party. In the government he served as minister without portfolio, minister for Diaspora affairs, and deputy minister for foreign affairs.