Karol Sidon to step down as chief Prague rabbi

The chief rabbi of Prague, Karol Sidon, has announced he will resign as of July 1st, after 22 years in the post. The 71-year-old Sidon will retain his position as the chief rabbi of the Czech Republic. The head of the Prague Jewish Community, Jan Munk, said the rabbi’s age as well as the fact that another rabbi had well adapted to serving the community, were the main reasons behind Karol Sidon’s decision. Karol Sidon, who converted to Judaism in 1978, was an anti-communist dissident, and in the 1980s left Czechoslovakia for Germany under pressure from the communist secret police. He has written several novels and theatre plays; most recently, he authored a best-selling novel under the pseudonym of Chaim Cigan.