Lord Jonathan Sacks

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.


Collaboration on Jewish studies

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

Trainee Progressive rabbis will be taking degrees at a leading academic institution where Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is a visiting professor.

King’s College, London has for several years offered an MA in Jewish studies in conjunction with the Orthodox London School of Jewish Studies.

Now King’s has entered into a similar partnership with the Leo Baeck College, London’s Progressive rabbinic academy.


Alumni respond to crisis in chaplaincy funding

By James Martin, April 30, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was among over 50 Cambridge University alumni at an emergency meeting in Golders Green on Sunday which raised £20,000 towards maintaining a Jewish chaplaincy post in Cambridge and East Anglia.

The meeting featured tributes by recent graduates to the essential role of student chaplains at Cambridge. Supporters were urged to ensure sufficient funds were in place to recruit a new chaplaincy couple after Rabbi Yehuda Fishman and his wife Nechami stand down at the end of the academic year.


Chief Rabbi invited to Hay Festival

April 30, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is to appear at one of Britain’s top literary festivals next month.

He will discuss the future of Judaism, Jewish life and Israel in the 21st century at the Guardian Hay Festival in Wales, in conversation with BBC presenter Ed Stourton.

This year’s line-up, with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has an emphasis on religion.


Chief's advice for students

April 2, 2009

The importance of student activism was stressed by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks when he addressed a Friday night dinner at Finchley Synagogue organised by Tribe Campus and University Jewish Chaplaincy, with Union of Jewish Students’ input.

He told over 250 students that they should also offer support to those beyond the campus world.

Among Jewish societies represented were Birmingham, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, University College London, Leeds, LSE, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford.


Chief rabbi backs G20 prayer

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has joined other faith leaders in expressing hope that the G20 meeting in London this week would be “blessed with wisdom”.

The Chief Rabbi signed a religious leaders’ communiqué addressed to heads of the world’s largest economies, which stated: “Our prayers are with the world’s leaders that they be blessed with the wisdom and courage to begin the journey from recession to recovery, and from the old world of national pride to a new age of global responsibility.”


Shechitah protection

By Simon Rocker, April 2, 2009

The Chief Rabbis of France and the UK met in London on Monday to discuss the protection of shechitah in the wake of proposed changes to European law.

Sir Jonathan Sacks, after his meeting with his French counterpart, Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, said: “Shechitah has long been accepted as a fundamental right for Europe’s Jewish citizens.

“The acceptance of religious practices by minority cultures in society is one of the pillars upon which Europe preserves its liberal and democratic character.”