100 Jewish groups to mark a year since death of Rabbi Sacks with day of learning
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100 Jewish groups to mark a year since death of Rabbi Sacks with day of learning

Shuls, schools and organisations from 14 countries will take part in the inaugural ‘Communities in Conversation' initiative this weekend

Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks.
(Blake-Ezra Photography Ltd)
Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. (Blake-Ezra Photography Ltd)

More than 100 international Jewish groups will join a day of learning to mark a year since Rabbi Lord Sacks’ death.

The inaugural ‘Communities in Conversation’ initiative will include hundreds of people across 14 countries, recalling the former chief rabbi’s teachings and continued impact on the world.

Taking place on 25-26 October, it will feature synagogues, community organisations and schools, with a focus on five key themes: religion & science, family, Israel, community and Jewish identity.

To guide participants through the initiative, the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust has launched a series of videos of the former chief rabbi, discussion questions and teachings.

It follows the first ever Sacks Conversation last week, featuring former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Rabbi Lord Sacks died in November 2020 aged 72, leading to an outpouring of tributes from across the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds.

Joanna Benarroch, who worked with Rabbi Sacks for 24 years and now runs Trust, is coordinating the initiative, and said the response to it  “has been phenomenal”.

“It is wonderful to see people come together in this way, and immensely comforting to see how Rabbi Sacks’ legacy continues to inspire and inform so many, and truly reflects the global impact he had.”

Rabbi Michael Laitner, Director of Education at the United Synagogue, said: “Although we are still trying to come to terms with the passing of the much-missed Rabbi Sacks, the Communities in Conversation programme is a wonderful opportunity for the United Synagogue Rabbinate and our communities to learn from and continue to be inspired by the teachings of our former Chief Rabbi and to honour his memory.”

Rabbi Ben Berger, VP for Jewish Education at Hillel International in the United States said the movement “is proud to participate”,  while Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, Principal of Moriah College, Australia said that “his influence continues to this very day, and will do so for generations to come.”

Participating communities, schools and Jewish organisations include from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Israel, Germany, Spain, France, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. Among organisations taking part are the United Synagogue, Hillel International, the Orthodox Union, Educating for Impact, and the Jewish Federations of North America.

All resources produced for the initiative, developed by Dr Daniel Rose, can be downloaded for free: https://RabbiSacks.org/CommunitiesInConversation/ 

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