Louis Jacobs: Life & Legacy
Harry Freedman, Michael Harris
Chair: Richard Bolchover
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Rabbi Louis Jacobs was a Talmudic genius and runaway winner of the Jewish Chronicle’s Greatest British Jew poll. When the Chief Rabbi, who he had been expected to succeed, not only blocked his appointment as Principal of Jews’ College but forbade his return to his former synagogue, citing his book challenging the traditional belief in the origins of the Torah, it became one of the biggest schisms in Anglo-Jewish history and a cause celebre in the national press. His congregation resigned en masse and created the New London Synagogue, where he served for over three decades. Biographer Harry Freedman and Hampstead Synagogue’s Rabbi Michael Harris join historian Richard Bolchover to discuss his life and legacy.
Click here to buy Reason to Believe: The Controversial Life of Rabbi Louis Jacobs by Harry Freedman
Harry Freedman is a writer and academic with a PhD in Aramaic. His previous books include The Talmud: A Biography. He contributed to the Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture and has written for the JC, the Jewish Quarterly, Judaism Today and the Huffington Post.
Rabbi Dr Michael Harris has been rabbi of The Hampstead Synagogue since 1995. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies. His most recent book, co-authored with Daniel Rynhold, is Nietzsche, Soloveitchik and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Richard Bolchover studied Jewish History and Hebrew Literature at University College London, St. Antony's College Oxford and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he was a Rotary International Foundation Scholar studying at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry. His British Jewry and the Holocaust is published in hardback by C.U.P. and in expanded paperback form by the Littman Library. He has worked in the City for 35 years, co-founding two successful business, and is Vice Chair of the Anglo-Israel Association.