By Geoffrey Paul
December 17, 2010
Part of my argument for not appointing a new chief rabbi in 2013 (for which there was no room in the JC today) is that Lord Sacks’ retirement could open the way for an even larger communal role for him as Emeritus Chief Rabbi. Released from the shackles of the United Synagogue and the Beth Din and with a seat in the House of Lords, the way is open to him to become spokesman for the entire Anglo-Jewish community without regard to denomination.
Whatever the elected role of the president of the Board of Deputies, even he would have to acknowledge that no one so readily has the ear of the country. Old timers among the peers cannot remember such fulsome praise as greeted his entrance into the Lords. Even Jenny Tonge joined in! An emeritus chief rabbi empowered by its constituents to speak for the whole community on issues of concern to Anglo-Jewry would make the representative role of a new chief rabbi redundant, for the next few years anyway.