Lord Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi's plea for pride in Judaism

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 26, 2009

Lack of pride in Judaism and its achievements had increased assimilation and reduced the community’s ability to defend Israel, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks told 100 Manchester leaders on Sunday.

Before an audience including Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis at the local representative council, Lord Sacks declared: “If we are not strong in ourselves, how can we fight the massive challenges that face us? Non-Jews respect Jews who respect Judaism.”


Chief Rabbi attacks fundamentalism

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has called for an “intellectually open, humble and tolerant religiosity” as a bulwark against fundamentalism.

In a keynote lecture to the religious think-tank Theos in London last week, he said: “Religion is going to grow in strength in the 21st century and a very great deal will depend on what kind of religion it is.

“At the moment, the fastest growing religions in the world are those who take an adversarial stance towards society, religions that challenge liberal democratic freedoms, and that is bad news.”


£25m campus rebuild at Liverpool's King David school

November 12, 2009

A ceremony to launch the £25 million rebuild of Liverpool’s King David campus was held on Tuesday in the presence of Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

The scheme will improve facilities at the high school and relocate the primary and kindergarten sections plus Harold House community centre to the high school’s Childwall site. It is part of the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme, with funding also coming from the King David Foundation.


Chief Rabbi: Muslims can learn from Jews

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2009

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said that Muslims need to learn to separate religion from power, in a major lecture in London this week.

“One of the great advantages of being Jewish, is you know how to sing in a minor key,” The Times reported him saying. “We have had 26 centuries of experience, ever since the Babylonian exile, of living as a minority in the midst of a culture that does not share our views.”


JNF to plant 25,000 trees in Chief Rabbi's honour

November 5, 2009

British JNF will mark the Chief Rabbi’s peerage by planting a forest of 25,000 trees in Jerusalem in Lord Sacks’s name, it announced this week.

Members of the Jewish community in Britain and the Commonwealth can participate either by buying a single tree for £10 or as many trees as they wish, in order to pay tribute to the Chief Rabbi.

The name of every donor will be inscribed in a specially designed hand-written megillah, a copy of which will be presented to the Chief Rabbi at a dedication ceremony in Israel next February.


Lord Chief Rabbi - but is it good for the Jews?

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, November 5, 2009

For much of our history, it was perilous for observant Jews to engage in politics. Successful statesmen risked jealousy from within the Jewish community and almost anyone who accepted the patronage of a gentile knew that at some stage, they would be forced to compromise their religious beliefs or endanger their lives by upsetting their political masters.


MDA cooks up a £1.4m menu

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

On the day he became Baron Sacks of Aldgate, the Chief Rabbi helped Magen David Adom UK with its own celebration — a 60th anniversary dinner which raised £1.4 million for the medical emergency charity.

Addressing over 300 guests at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, the Chief Rabbi said: “For 60 years, during war and peace, the Anglo-Jewish community has supported MDA and it is magnificent. When we’re in Israel and we see an ambulance and look at the British names along it, it makes us feel so proud.


Hats off to Lady Hayman

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

A haimishe start for the Chief Rabbi at the House of Lords. When the new Lord Sacks of Aldgate, who took his seat among his fellow peers for the first time on Tuesday, acknowledged the Lady Speaker with a ceremonial sweep of his hat, Baroness Hayman responded with a greeting yet to be formally recorded in the etiquette books: “Mazeltov”.

The Chief had just come from over the road at the Supreme Court, where he and Lady Sacks had sat in for half an hour or so on the JFS case on some rather grand chairs especially reserved for them.


Succah in the City

October 8, 2009

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner hosted a “Succah in the City” for more than 150 members of London’s Jewish business community on Tuesday.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was the guest of honour and former Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Victor Blank was also among those present.

The large succah was set up at BLP’s London Bridge offices on a terrace overlooking the River Thames. It was also made available by BLP to UJIA and the Tel Aviv University Trust for breakfast events.


Farewell to Chief's aide

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

A large crowd gathered at St John’s Wood Synagogue for a farewell reception for Syma Weinberg, who retired this summer as executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s office after nearly 13 years.

The former Hasmonean Preparatory School deputy head and education consultant to Jewish Continuity is making aliyah with her husband Henry in December.

“It’s been a privilege to have been working in the community for 40 years,” Mrs Weinberg said.