Haim Amsalem

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Haim Amsalem
Amsalem haim.jpg
Date of birth (1959-10-12) 12 October 1959 (age 57)
Place of birth Oran, French Algeria
Year of aliyah 1970
Knessets 17, 18
Faction represented in Knesset
2006–2010 Shas
2012–2013 Am Shalem

Rabbi Haim (Emile) Amsalem (born 12 October 1959) is an Israeli politician and a former member of the Knesset. Following a rift between him and his former party Shas, he established the Am Shalem party to run for the 2013 Knesset elections, but failed to win any seats.


Amsalem was born in Oran, French Algeria, to David and Freha Amsalem, who immigrated to there from Morocco. When he was six months old, his family moved to Lyon, France, where he grew up until the age of 11. In 1970, the family immigrated to Israel. He graduated from the "Kisseh Rahamim" Yeshiva where was ordained as rabbi in 1980, and served as a Head of Yeshiva ("RAM"). In 1990, he obtained certification as a rabbinical legal representative ("to'en rabbani"), and in 1993, he was ordained a City rabbi by the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

In 1982, he married Hannah, the granddaughter of Rabbi Nissim Cohen, Av Beit Din in Djerba. After his marriage, he served as rabbi of the Sharsheret moshav for seven years. He has also served also as a neighborhood rabbi in Netivot, as Head of Yeshiva of "Ohalei Yaakov ve Tifereth Israel" and as Head of the kollel "Baba Sali" in the city. From there, he moved to the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, and established there the "Shirei David" Kollel in the name of his father. He was later appointed as rabbi of the Sephardic Jewish community, "Heichal Haness" in Geneva, Switzerland, a position he held until his entry into the Knesset.

A founding member of Shas,[1] Amsalem was first elected to the Knesset in 2006, and was re-elected in 2009. After breaking away from Shas, he founded his own party, Am Shalem. In the 2013 elections, the new party failed to cross the electoral threshold of 2%, and Amsalem subsequently lost his Knesset seat. On 15 September 2014, the Yeshiva World News website reported that Amsalem would be running in the upcoming elections for the post of Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.[2]

Amsalem has written books in a variety of religious topics, and has published religious articles and Torah research papers in the religious publications "Ohr Torah", "Ohr Israel", "Beit Hillel", and more. He specialized in deciphering manuscripts and published writings of famous Sephardic scholars, including the "P'nei Moshe" by Rabbi Moshe Kalfon HaCohen and "Ya'amod Pinchas" by Rabbi Pinchas Abitbol. He lives in Har Nof, Jerusalem, and is married, with eight children.[3]


  1. ^ That sinking sense of impending victory Israel HaYom, 18 January 2013
  2. ^ "Rabbi Amsellem Registers as a Candidate in Jerusalem Rabbinate Election". The Yeshiva World. 15 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Knesset Member, Chaim Amsellem". Retrieved 21 January 2013. 

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