Cyril Harris

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This article is about Rabbi C.K. Harris. For acoustics professor C.M. Harris, see Cyril M. Harris.

Cyril Kitchener Harris (19 September 1936 – 13 September 2005) was Chief Rabbi of The Union of Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa from 1987 to 2004.

Harris was born in Glasgow, Scotland. During his tenure as Chief Rabbi, he was noted for his support of full democracy during South Africa's apartheid years.[1][2][3] He spoke at the induction ceremony of President Nelson Mandela in 1994, and also gave a blessing at Mandela's wedding to Graça Machel in 1998. Mandela frequently referred to Harris as "my rabbi."[2]

He trained at the Jews College, and served suburban congregations in Kenton and Edgware and finally St Johns Wood from 1979. From 1966 to 1971, Harris also served as Senior Jewish Chaplain to the British Armed Forces.[2]

He died in Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa, aged 68, and was buried in Israel.


  1. ^ Freedland, Michael (2005-09-16). "Rabbi Cyril Harris". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ a b c staff (2005-09-19). "Rabbi Cyril Harris". London: The Times. 
  3. ^ staff (2005-09-15). "Cyril K. Harris, 68, Chief Rabbi in South Africa". New York Times. 
Religious titles
Preceded by
Bernard M. Casper
Chief Rabbi of South Africa
Cyril Harris

Succeeded by
Warren Goldstein