Lord Jonathan Sacks

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.


Chief Rabbi to become Lord Sacks of Aldgate

By Simon Rocker, September 11, 2009

The Chief Rabbi will officially become a peer on October 27 when he enters the House of Lords as Lords Sacks of Aldgate.

He will be sponsored by Lord Winston and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.

Explaining why he had chosen to nominate the East End of London district, he said; “My late father sold cloth in Commercial Road and my grandmother ran Frumkins wine shop. I wanted not to forget my roots. That’s where I used to help out help when I was a child and where my earliest memories are.”


Chief Rabbi makes New Year podcast

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has wished students Shana Tova in a podcast for the new Union of Jewish Students website.

In the three-minute message he said society was suffering from “mission drift”.

He said: “We are affluent beyond the dreams of any previous generation since man first walked on earth, yet rates of stress-related syndromes, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depressive illnesses have been rising with each successive generation since the 1950s.”

He advised students to instead celebrate life in a “wonderful university environment”.


Chief plans broadcast on crunch

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

The credit crunch will be the focus of the Chief Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah broadcast this year.

In his annual New Year message, to be aired on Monday, September 14, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks speaks to financial experts on whether faith can help us out of the recession.

Entitled A More Gracious Life, the programme will feature an interview with the BBC’s economics editor, Robert Peston, to discuss why the markets failed and what we have learned since the downturn.


Sacks sets ‘inclusive’ new school entry tests

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks this week issued admission guidelines to Jewish schools in the wake of the JFS court ruling.

New entry rules, based on Jewish practice, should be “as inclusive as possible”, he said, following the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling that it was unlawful to pick pupils according to whether or not their parents were Jewish.

But the advice could prove academic, because the House of Lords — in one of its final legal decisions before the new Supreme Court takes over — agreed last Friday to hear an appeal from JFS against the Appeal Court ruling.


The Chief Rabbi on his new book and his new title

By Simon Rocker, July 16, 2009

By the time his long-awaited peerage was announced, the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, had already gone into seclusion. Around this period of year, he closes his public diary and turns his mind to writing a new book.

The latest of his 18 books, Future Tense, appeared only last month and he has called it the “most important” he has written, an attempt to produce a “satellite navigation system” for Jews and Judaism in the years ahead.

While the book warns of the rise of “the new antisemitism”, its message is that the Jewish agenda should not be defined by external threat.


Chief Rabbi given life peerage

By James Martin and Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

Tributes have flowed in from all sections of the community at the elevation of the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, to the peerage.

The House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that he is to be a life peer and will sit as a cross-bencher.

Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies, said: “I send warm congratulations to the Chief Rabbi on this richly deserved honour.


Getting the big picture

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

You might not think twice about a name like “Weinberg” among supporters of a new Israel-linked charity.

But Rob Weinberg, trustee of the Friends of the Haifa Foundation UK, is not your average north-west Jewish Londoner: he is in fact a Bahá’í, who grew up in Canterbury.

He was recruited to the charity by Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks — sister-in-law of Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks — who set it up to promote the city as a symbol of multifaith harmony.


Chief Rabbi’s siddur could go global

By Simon Rocker, May 7, 2009

A new edition of the siddur by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks could become the standard prayerbook for the English-speaking modern Orthodox world.

The translation and commentary, first done for his revision of the Singer’s siddur in the UK two years ago, has been incorporated into a new edition shortly to be published by Koren in Jerusalem.

“The Koren Sacks Siddur is the first new Orthodox siddur for North America in a generation,” said Sheryl Abbey of Koren Publishers.