Jackie Gryn, the widow of the late Reform leader Rabbi Hugo Gryn, has insisted she has always enjoyed a warm relationship with Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and appealed for no more talk of a “Hugo Gryn Affair”.
Parallels have been drawn between Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner’s recent decision not to go to the funeral of Baroness Thatcher and the Chief Rabbi’s absence from Rabbi Gryn’s funeral in 1996.
But in a letter to the JC this week, Mrs Gryn called for a line to be drawn.
Mrs Gryn wrote: “I feel the time has come for me to lay to rest, once and for all , the idea… that there ever was a ‘Hugo Gryn Affair’, as far as I am concerned, regarding the absence of the Chief Rabbi at the funeral of my late husband, Hugo.”
She said it was “deeply distressing to myself and to Jonathan Sacks” that the issue was still being talked about.
Relations between her and the Chief Rabbi have “always been warm and collegial”. The Chief Rabbi had been “most sympathetic” when he phoned on hearing news of her husband’s death. “From the beginning, relations were cordial and sympathetic and have remained so,” she wrote. “There has never been any personal grievance between us concerning his non-attendance at the funeral, which promoted such venomous and divisive comments and regrettably continues to do so.”
Several months after Rabbi Gryn’s death, the Chief Rabbi paid tribute to him at a memorial event. But a leaked letter to the Charedi establishment in which he spoke of his conflict over attending the event ignited controversy.