Karol Sidon

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Rabbi Karol Efraim Sidon (born August 9, 1942) is a Czech Rabbi, writer and playwright. He is the current chief rabbi of the city of Prague and of the Czech Republic.


Born and raised in Prague he began studying at the Academy of Musical Art in Prague in 1960 where he began writing film scripts, and radio playsfor Czech public radio - Český rozhlas. Up to 1968 he worked as a producer for Czech puppeteer Jiří Trnka. In the same year, Sidon's first book, "Sen o mém otci" ("Dream about my father") was published, in which the author deals with his being brought up without his Jewish father Alexander Sidon, who perished in the Terezín ghetto (his wife was a Christian). In 1977 he was a signatory to Charter 77. He received the Jiří Kolář prize in 1978.

In 1983 he emigrated to West Germany and converted to Judaism after studying Jewish studies at the Heidelberg university. He became ordained as a Rabbi after studying for a time in Israel. He returned to the Czech republic in 1992, where he became chief rabbi of Prague. He is married to Marcela Třebická, and is the father of the actress Magdalena Sidonová.


In Prague in 2005 tensions developed between Chabad members and its rabbi Rabbi Manis Barash and Efraim Sidon. The Old New Synagogue in Prague's ancient Jewish Quarter became the scene of an emotional dispute between members of the Chabad movement and locals backing Karol Sidon, chief rabbi of the Czech Republic. The conflict led...
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