I am just back from the New London Synagogue UJIA Mission to
The highlight of the trip, undoubtedly, was the opening of the Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs Resource Centre at the High School of the
At the opening of the Centre, I was asked to explain Rabbi Jacobs’ legacy to a large crowd of NLS members, representative of our philanthropic partners, members of Rabbi Jacobs’ family and teachers and pupils from the school – a daunting task.
I chose three lessons which have always been at the heart of our work at
Firstly – be a mentsch.
As I arrived at
Secondly – do not be swayed from what is right by the temptations of honour.
After the publication of We Have Reason to Believe, Rabbi Jacobs was given the opportunity of distancing himself from his work and beliefs. Indeed this was the ultimatum offered in return for the office of the Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Jacobs rejected the inducements of high office. He chose a more lonely, less prestigious path, but a ultimately this was the path that allowed him, and all of us, the freedom to believe in what we know to be true.
Thirdly – be proud to walk the middle way.
We live in a world that beckons us to extremes. Secularism and religious fundamentalism are dangers not only in the
It is a true honour for me to serve a congregation with such a special history and founding narrative. I hope only that you share with me this sense of pride and commitment to our future.