Yedidia Shofet

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Yedidia Shofet
Yedidia Shofet.jpg
Born (1908-11-14)November 14, 1908
Kashan, Iran
Died June 24, 2005(2005-06-24) (aged 96)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Resting place Eden Memorial Park Cemetery
Nationality Iranian-American
Occupation Rabbi
Spouse(s) Rabbanit Heshmat Shofet
Children David Shofet

Yedidia Shofet (also spelled Shophet, and often referred to as Hakham Yedidia; November 14, 1908 – June 24, 2005) was the former Chief Rabbi of Iran and the worldwide spiritual leader of Persian Jewry.

Early life[edit]

Yedidia Shofet was born on November 14, 1908 in Kashan, Iran.[1][2] He came from a family with twelve generations of rabbis.[1] He moved to Tehran shortly after World War II.[2]

Hakham Yedidia Shofet
Hakham Yedidia Shofet and Rabbi David Shofet meet with Israeli President Moshe Katsav


Shofet served as the Chief Rabbi of Iran.[2][3] He became a liaison and spokesperson for Iranian Jews before the Shah, government officials, and Islamic clerics.[1][2] He was instrumental in persuading the Shah and other government officials in the early 1950s to allow Iraqi Jews, who had been forced to leave Iraq, to find temporary refuge in Iran before eventually immigrating to Israel.

Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the execution of Habib Elghanian, Shofet, along with thousands of other Iranian Jews, immigrated to Southern California.[1][2][3] While no longer working as a liaison for Iranian Jews, he continued to serve as a symbolic religious figure, urging Iranian Jewish families to preserve their Jewish tradition.[1] In the United States, Shofet, with his son and other community leaders, helped establish the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, California.[3]

Hundreds attend the burial ceremony of Hacham Yedidia Shofet in Mission Hills, California - June 2005

Personal life[edit]

Shofet was married to Rabbanit Heshmat Shofet.[4] They had a son, David Shofet.[4]


Shofet died on June 24, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.[1][2] He was ninety-six years old.[2] He was buried at the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Iranian Jewish leader Hacham Yedidia Shofet has died, World Jewish Congress, July 01, 2005
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Karmel Melamed, Iranian Jewish Spiritual Icon Dies, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 30, 2005
  3. ^ a b c Nessah Synagogue website: History
  4. ^ a b Karmel Melamed, Nessah Honors Rabbanit Heshmat Shofet, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 16, 2009
Jewish titles
Preceded by
Chief Rabbi of Iran
Succeeded by
Uriel Davidi