Lord Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi backs a reversal of JFS ruling

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, will back a unilateral move by Orthodox groups to reverse the JFS court ruling if it proves impossible to achieve broader communal agreement.

However, his office stressed in a statement that he still believed the Board of Deputies to be the "most appropriate body" to pursue a change in the law.

Jewish schools were forced to introduce new entry rules last year after the Supreme Court upheld an Appeal Court decision that schools could no longer choose pupils on the basis of whether their mother - or father - was Jewish.

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Chief Rabbi to give lecture on conversion

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Dayan Menachem Gelley, senior dayan of the London Beth Din, are to take part in a lecture series next month on one of the controversial contemporary topics - conversion.

They are among speakers who feature in a seven-part course on "understanding conversion" beginning next Wednesday night at the London School of Jewish Studies in Hendon.

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Chief Rabbi: Book error could have meant resigning

By Simon Rocker, March 18, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has acknowledged that he would have had to resign if he had not amended his award-winning book on interfaith tolerance, The Dignity of Difference.

He made the admission at an address at the Oxford Union last week when he was asked by a student why he had revised the book for its second edition.

Strictly Orthodox rabbis demanded the withdrawal of the book in 2002.

At the time, the London Beth Din issued a statement saying that "certain passages lend themselves to an interpretation that is inconsistent with basic Jewish beliefs".

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Meir Persoff: 'Time for an alternative to Chief Rabbi'

By Simon Rocker, March 11, 2010

The Chief Rabbinate is a cause of division and Lord Sacks should be the last to hold the office, says a new book published next week.

Meir Persoff, the JC's former Judaism editor, in the first book-length study of the policies of Lord Sacks since he took office in 1991, argues that the role has become increasingly contentious in a religiously diverse Jewish community.

He writes in Another Way, Another Time: "The Chief Rabbinate has run its course and an alternative form of leadership is called for which recognises the plurality of the community."

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Chief Rabbi celebrates Scottish congregations

By Stephanie Brickman, March 11, 2010

Lord Sacks was in Glasgow at the weekend for a double celebration - the 75th anniversary of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue and the induction of Rabbi Danny Bergson at Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation.

At Giffnock, the Chief Rabbi spoke on how declining communities could embrace the future positively, emphasising the importance of maintaining Orthodox practice.

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Why we had to get married twice

March 11, 2010

Many couples from mixed United Synagogue–Masorti backgrounds feel coerced into holding dual ceremonies. Two Masorti families described their experiences.

“In 2009,” related the first, “our daughter was married in a Masorti synagogue, according to the law of Moses and of Israel, by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, before Shabbat-observant witnesses. The following day, she stood under a tallit in our sitting-room with her new husband for a shadow ceremony which apparently fulfilled the law of Jonathan Sacks and of the United Synagogue.

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Should he be the last Chief Rabbi?

March 11, 2010

The Chief Rabbinate has run its course and an alternative form of leadership is called for which recognises both the plurality of the community and the application of inclusivism in deed as well as word. Anglo-Jewry's movers and shakers might well heed the advice of a far-sighted observer commenting, a century ago, on factional strife.

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Chief: let's all exploit YouTube

By Marcus Dysch, March 11, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks spoke to students about the importance of leadership during an event organised by UJC's Scotland and North East chaplain Garry Wayland.

During Sunday's event at Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation synagogue in Glasgow, around 40 students discussed the role of teamwork with Rabbi Sacks.

He explained how he uses a YouTube channel to reach out to students and said people must "think outside the box" to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia.

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Chief Rabbi wins New York prize

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, is to be the first recipient of the Lamm Prize, a new award set up by Yeshiva University in New York.

The prize pays homage to the university's chancellor, Dr Norman Lamm, and his lifetime of scholarly achievement.

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Chief Rabbi hails B'nai B'rith on 100th birthday

February 18, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recalled the "great personal debt" he owed B'nai B'rith when he addressed the centenary dinner of B'nai B'rith First Lodge.

He told the 320 guests at the Great Hall in Lincoln's Inn, central London, that his decision to become a rabbi had been influenced by a travel bursary awarded by the First Lodge in 1968.

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