Rabbis

Chief Rabbi selection: how Israel does it

By Nathan Jeffay, August 11, 2011

The defining characteristic of the chief rabbi selection process in Israel is that involves secular as well as religious communities.

In a country polarised between secular and religious, this has allowed the rabbinate, which is state-maintained, to be regarded as a national and not just a sectarian institution.

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In 209 years only two chief rabbis went to the vote

By Miri Freud-Kandel, August 11, 2011

Chief rabbinate elections have historically been characterised more by autocracy than democracy.

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Time for Jew in the pew to ask searching questions

By Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, August 11, 2011

When the election for president of the United Synagogue was under way, rumours were circulating that the contenders each had his own preferred candidate he would like to see "selected" as the next chief rabbi. The president would de facto become a member of the ambiguous group known as the Chief Rabbinate Trust and could then exert his influence to achieve his aims.

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It's the 21st century - time to elect our leader

By TheJC.com, August 11, 2011

In 2013, a new chief rabbi will be appointed. He has a tough act to follow. Lord Sacks is not universally popular - who is? - but whatever disagreements he may have prompted within Anglo-Jewry by his various actions and inactions, he has become a towering figure within our nation. Almost alone among religious leaders, he commands respect across all beliefs and none.

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How the other religions manage it

By Simon Rocker, August 11, 2011

The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth - to give the post its full title - has sometimes been seen as our equivalent to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Just as the archbishop heads the Church of England, the state's official church, so the chief rabbi leads UK's largest Jewish denomination.

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Reform reject chance to choose Chief Rabbi

By Simon Rocker, August 11, 2011

The man heading the search for the next chief rabbi wants to give the non-Orthodox community a say in the appointment, in a bold gesture intended to secure communal consensus over the position.

Stephen Pack, the new president of the United Synagogue, says he would like to offer religious groups both to the right and left of central Orthodoxy a role in choosing Lord Sacks's successor.

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Shire leaves Leo Baeck for American challenge

By Simon Rocker, August 4, 2011

Leo Baeck College vice-principal Rabbi Michael Shire is leaving to become professor of Jewish religious education at Hebrew College, Boston.

Rabbi Shire will move with his wife Rabbi Marcia Plumb - who has been one of the rabbinic team at the Shaarei Tzedek North London Reform Synagogue and taught at Akiva School- and their two children.

He will also serve as dean at the graduate school at H

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Secular gather in tents, religious take to the streets

By Nathan Jeffay, August 4, 2011

The Israeli government has sparked fury in the Orthodox community after deciding to take possession of the burial place of sainted second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

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Mysteries surround death of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzira

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 4, 2011

Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzira's death turned out to be as enigmatic as his life.

One of the most venerable mystics in Israel, Rabbi Abuhatzira was murdered in his own yeshivah last Thursday by Asher Dahan, a part-time teacher from the strictly-Orthodox town of Elad.

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Rabbi arrested in Washington for budget protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

A group of Jewish leaders and their Christian counterparts were arrested in Washington DC on Thursday after staging a protest over budget cuts.

The 11 religious representatives had gathered at the Capitol Rotunda and started a sit-in to make a statement urging President Obama not to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor".

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