Rabbi Pinchas Abuhatzeira, the great-grandson of the Babi Sali, is Israel's richest rabbi, with an estimated fortune of NIS 1.3 billion, according to the "Forbes Israel's" ranking of Israel's ten richest rabbis. The magazine says that the social protest hurt the fortunes of the rabbis' activities, by greatly reducing their income from donations from tycoons.
The value of a rabbi can have little significance for the personal wealth of an individual rabbi, but includes charitable activities and their properties. The rabbinical communities have an annual turnover of over NIS 1 billion, according to various estimates, but the nature of a community's activities, which are difficult to monitor, has given risen to much higher estimates of turnover. The value of the rabbinical communities are based on interviews and conversations with scores of officials from the rabbinical communities by experts on the haredi (ultra-orthodox) communities, the Israel Police, assessors, and various haredi sources. Current and former Israel Tax Authority officials also contributed to the rankings.
Rabbi Pinchas Abuhatzeira inherited most of his fortune from his father, Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, who was murdered last year by a follower in Beersheva. The fortune of Rabbi Pinchas Abuhatzeira's uncle, Rabbi David Hai Abuhatzeira is estimated at NIS 750 million. Many national and local politicians pay homage to the rabbi at his court.
Gur Rabbi Yaakov Arie Altar is ranked in third place, with a fortune of NIS 350 million. The Belz Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach is in fourth place, with a fortune of NIS 180 million. Rabbi Nir Ben-Artzi is in fifth place, with a fortune of NIS 100 million, followed by Rabbi Yaakov Ifargen, with a fortune of NIS 90 million, and Rabbi Yeshayahu Pinto, with a fortune of NIS 75 million.
Many rabbis actively participate in the business world as partners in or owners of companies. Leading rabbis also invest in capital markets and in real estate in Israel and other countries. Rabbi David Hai Abuhatzeira is considered a financial expert, with real estate and stock investments in Israel and around the world.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 10, 2012
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