LONDON – Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, will retire in a little
less than three years from the position he has held for over two decades, it was
announced this week.
At a meeting of the United Synagogue Council on
Monday, Dr Simon Hochhauser, president of the United Synagogue and president of
the Chief Rabbinate Trust, confirmed that the chief rabbi would retire in
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Hochhauser paid tribute to the leadership of the chief
He said that the Chief Rabbinate Trust would hold a number of
consultation meetings, primarily within the United Hebrew Congregations – the
largest synagogue organization in Europe, and would determine the process of
succession by this summer.
“I am determined in the next three years to
accelerate my efforts to help shape the direction and the future of our
community,” Sacks, 62, said on Tuesday. “I will continue to focus my efforts on
a new generation of leaders, rabbinic and lay, so that they are inspired by the
breadth and depth of our Jewish heritage and a creative vision of what Anglo
Jewry can achieve.
“I am also looking forward to an active
post-retirement set of engagements to carry forward in new ways what I have
sought to achieve during my period of office,” he said.
Lord Sacks has
been chief rabbi since 1991, the sixth incumbent since the role was formalized
Educated at Cambridge University, where he obtained first class
honors in Philosophy, Lord Sacks got his PhD from Oxford University and King’s
College London and rabbinic ordination from Jews’ College and Yeshiva Etz
An accomplished writer, with books translated into French,
Italian, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean and Hebrew, the chief rabbi has been
a visiting professor at several universities in the UK, US and Israel and is
currently Visiting Professor of Theology at Kings’ College London.
respected and major voice of British Jewry, he is a frequent contributor to
radio, television and the British national press.
He regularly delivers
BBC Radio Four’s Thought for the Day, writes a monthly column for The Times and
broadcasts an annual Rosh Hashana message on the BBC.
He received the
Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to Diaspora Jewish life and was
knighted by the queen in 2005. Last year, he was made a life peer in the House