Religious and political leaders have attended a virtual memorial event in honour of the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair was among those to remember the enigmatic former chief rabbi, as was Katharina von Schnurbein, the first European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism.
The commemorative event was organised by the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) and was held a highlight prolific author Sacks’ impact “in spiritual, sociological, political, and intellectual spheres”.
Citing Sacks’ warnings to the EU about antisemitism, Von Schnurbein said he was “a Cassandra of modern times” in reference to the Trojan priestess of Apollo in Greek mythology who was cursed to always speak the truth and never to be believed.
Blair said: “He gave me a feeling of why it was important to have faith and how faith was central to human progress… When I think of the difference that he made to my life and to the lives of so, so many others, it’s an extraordinary legacy and a wonderful example to those of us who remain.
CER president Pinchas Goldschmidt said Sacks was “able to communicate the changing challenges to Jewish communities globally… No longer did other faiths pose the greatest challenge and danger to Jewish continuity, instead it was, and still is, a growing secularism”.
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