Lord Sacks becomes American professor

Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has been made a professor at two American universities and will spend three months a year teaching in New York.

He has been appointed as the Kressel and Efrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University and Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University.

Lord Sacks, who retired as chief rabbi in September after 22 years as chief rabbi, said he was excited at the new opportunities.

“This dual intellectual challenge is the perfect context to take forward the project of a Judaism engaged with the world in conversation with students in one of the major centres of Jewish life, he said.

He has also set up a charity, the Covenant & Conversation Trust, to support his educational work here and overseas.

YU president Richard Joel said: “The voice, the philosophy and the spirit of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been a gift to the United Kingdom and beyond for many years.

“It has long been our desire to welcome him into this next stage of his life by having him work at Yeshiva University to both inspire the next generation of Jewish leadership and to be a voice to the Jewish people and world for our timeless values.”

John Sexton, president of NYU, welcomed Lord Sacks as “one of the world’s most prominent voices on issues of Jewish faith and the Jewish community”.

He added; “When we attract someone of this stature, it benefits not just our campus or Yeshiva’s, it contributes to the overall vibrancy of New York’s extraordinary intellectual community and reaffirms New York’s stature as one of the world’s great idea capitals.”

Last updated: 11:12am, October 30 2013