Bent Melchior

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Bent Melchior (born 24 June 1929) is a former chief rabbi of Denmark.


His father, Marcus Melchior, was instrumental in the saving of the Danish Jews in 1943,[1] and became chief rabbi of Denmark in 1947.[2] From October 1943 to mid 1945 Bent Melchior and his family lived as refugees in Sweden.[1] Melchior served as a soldier in the 1947–1949 Palestine war, beginning in pre-statehood battles in 1947.[3] Subsequently, at the age of 21, he received a Ph.D. from Copenhagen University.[3]

After a period as a teacher in Copenhagen Melchior had his rabbinical education in London, and in 1963 he became rabbi at the synagogue in Copenhagen. When his father died in 1969, he succeeded him as chief rabbi for the Jewish community in Denmark. He has translated the Pentateuch, the Siddur (Jewish prayer book) and other books into Danish as well as writing several books including his autobiography. He is a prolific speaker and writer in the Danish community and media.

Bent Melchior retired from the Rabbinate in 1996. His successor was Bent Lexner. Since retiring Melchior has continued his humanitarian and charitable work in Denmark and abroad.

Personal life[edit]

Bent Melchior married Lilian Weissdorf in 1951.[3] The couple have four sons,[1] including Michael Melchior.


  1. ^ a b c Otzen, Ellen (8 October 2013). "The mass escape of Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark". BBC News. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Melchior, Marcus". Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. Vol. 14, pp. 10-11. Retrieved via Gale Virtual Reference Library database, 4 May 2018. Also available online via
  3. ^ a b c "Chief Rabbi of Denmark Speaker for Synagogue Council Dinner". The Jewish Floridian (Miami, Florida). 28 January 1972. p. 5A. Via Florida Digital Newspaper Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Retrieved 3 May 2018.

External links[edit]