Heartfelt tributes have been paid to former Board of Deputies President Eldred Tabachnik, who has died ages of 77.
The QC who served as head of the communal organisation for two terms, from 1994 to 2000, oversaw a vast modernisation of the Board of Deputies.
After growing up in South Africa, Mr Tabachnik taught law at University College London before turning to the Bar. He was appointed a QC just twelve years after being called to the Bar and was a leading employment lawyer, serving as a Recorder from 2000.
Eldred also served as president of the European Jewish Congress from 1996 to 1998, while his community service even spanned to his presidency of the British friends of Boys Town Jerusalem, a charity which helps Israel’s most vulnerable children.
Spending a number of years as warden of Richmond Synagogue, he was instrumental in the acquisition and construction of a new synagogue.
Paying tribute to her predecessor, Marie van der Zyl, the current president of the Board of Deputies, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my distinguished predecessor”.
“As president, Eldred oversaw a radical modernisation of the organisation to make it more ‘democratic, efficient, effective and accountable’, and travelled widely throughout the UK and beyond reaching out to communities in far-flung locations”, she added.
“It is a testament to his far-sightedness that the results have served us for more than a generation”.
Fellow former Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush said: “I have just learned the sad news of the passing of my distinguished predecessor at the Board of Deputies, Eldred Tabachnik QC.
“He was one of the finest advocates at the Bar and an outstanding leader of Britain’s Jewish community from 1994-2000. I mourn the loss of a mentor and friend.”
Daniel Janner QC added: “Very sad. He was an inspirational pupil master. A truly great man. I wish his family long life.”
The European Jewish Congress said: “Eldred was a calm, assured and immensely effective advocate for British and European Jewry and one of the first people to understand the importance of European Jewish communities working together for common objectives.
“Many of our smaller communities in Europe will remember Eldred’s wise counsel and the contribution British Jewry under his leadership of the Board of Deputies made to the revival of many communities in the former Eastern bloc.”
A statement from 11KBW, the law firm that Tabachnik helped found and worked at until he retired, reads: “He was a superlative lawyer, a great man, and a good and kind person. He will be much missed as a colleague and friend.”
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