The Chief Rabbinate of Cyprus is the supreme rabbinic institution in Cyprus. Its responsibilities include appointing rabbis, establishing rabbinical guidelines, operating the kashrut system, and more.
The Chief Rabbinate is headed by Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin, the Chief Rabbi of Cyprus.
The offices of the Rabbinate and the Office of the Chief Rabbi are located in the city of Larnaca at the address Apollodorou 4, 6020 Larnaca
The activities of the Chief Rabbinate in Cyprus are divided among its various branches as follows:
Kosher Department/Cyprus Kosher - Cyprus Kosher is the only officially authorized agency for the kosher certification of factories and production lines in Cyprus. The department deals with the supervision and certification of kosher products in Cyprus, Shechita (kosher slaughtering), approval of imported products sold in stores and kosher departments in local supermarkets, and extensive advocacy on issues concerning kosher with the government and official agencies.
Mikvah Department - supports the establishment and operation of Mikvahs (ritual pools) throughout Cyprus. In addition, the department responds to public inquiries, questions and answers, and halachic rulings regarding the kosher status of Mikvahs in Cyprus and matrimonial matters.
Marriage Department - supervises the observance of Jewish marriages in Cyprus according to Jewish law and tradition. The department arranges and verifies Jewish marriage and is recognized by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and rabbinates around the world. The department assists Jewish couples to obtain the necessary documentation that is required for the marriage to be valid according to Halacha.
Brit Mila (circumcision) Department - The department assists with arrangements of Jewish circumcision according to Halacha, and provides solutions and professional consultation so that the Brit Mila is conducted smoothly and properly.
Burial Department (Hevra Kadisha) - Hevra Kadisha of the Chief Rabbinate of Cyprus operates the Jewish cemetery in the city of Larnaca that has existed for decades and takes care of all the needs of purification, burial, and the necessary approvals from local authorities. When applicable, the department assists with identifying the deceased and coordinating a transfer of the body from Cyprus to the desired burial place. In addition, the burial department engages with government officials to protect the rights of the Jewish deceased and prevent situations that may desecrate the deceased.
Judaica Department - The department provides Judaica products, Torah scrolls, mezuzahs, tefillin, and more, and operates a service for checking tefillin and mezuzahs.
The chief rabbinate, in Judaism, is a supreme religious authority whose decisions bind all those under its jurisdiction. The prototype of the chief rabbinate was the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, which, until the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, issued legislation and interpreted Jewish Law for all the Jewish people.
The Chief Rabbi (Hebrew: רב ראשי Rav Rashi) is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities.