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Efraim Barak

Chief Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1920) and of Egypt (1925–1960). It is customary to add to his name the title of Effendi. He was born on December 23, 1872 in Magnesia (Manisa) near Izmir, in western Turkey, to his father, Behor Yosef Nahum, and his mother, Caden Gracia, who was of the Franco lineage. In his childhood, he travelled with his grandfather to Tiberias in Palestine, where he stayed to learn traditional teachings. After several years he returned to his birth place and completed his secondary school studies in Lycée-Impérial in Izmir. Between 1897–1893, Nahum studied in the Rabbinical Seminary in Paris, and was ordained a Rabbi. This institution was part of a network of religious schools established in Western Europe, geared towards training Rabbis espousing a positive outlook on modernization. His studies were funded by the Alliance Israélite Universelle (in Hebrew: Kol ...