Chief Rabbi’s New Year message about family

By Simon Rocker, September 26, 2008

The priceless value of family life is the theme of the Chief Rabbi's annual New Year BBC broadcast this year.

Sir Jonathan Sacks's film, Faith in the Family, which is to be shown on BBC1 at 11.20 pm on Sunday, looks at pressures on contemporary families.

"Family is the foundation of so much else," he observes, "of faith and community and the future. It's about the place of loyalty and love in society. And how much we value the things that don't have a price."

During the programme, psychologist Oliver James argues that long working hours affect children's wellbeing, while religiously observant people are less materialistic and happier. Esther Rantzen, founder of the charity ChildLine, talks to the Chief Rabbi about the high expectations Jewish parents place on their children.

Lord Winston, maker of the BBC's Child of Our Time, observes that "parents have to be more involved than they currently are" with their children's lives, and that as a society, "we don't really respect the people who nurture the next generation".

Last updated: 12:54pm, September 25 2008