Immanuel Jakobovits, Baron Jakobovits (1921 - 1999) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany
Death: Died in London, England
Cause of death: cerebral haemorrhage
Occupation: Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Rabbi in New York, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth
Managed by: Raziel Seckbach
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Immanuel Jakobovits, Baron Jakobovits

Lord Jakobovits, a tall impressive figure, once described by a non-Jewish admirer as having the presence of Moses, confidently and eloquently stated the Jewish view on issues affecting British society, and brought a religious perspective to areas previously regarded as being beyond the purview of clerical (let alone Rabbinical) comment. The friend and confidant of Prime Ministers, he was knighted in 1981, and raised to the peerage as Baron Jakobovits of Regents Park in 1987.

Immanuel Jakobovits was born in (1921) Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia), where his father Julius was a community rabbi. The family moved to Berlin in the 1920s, where his father became rabbinical judge on a local Beth Din, but fled the country in time to escape Nazi persecutions. In the United Kingdom he completed his higher education, including a period at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva in London, studying under and receiving semicha from the renowned Rabbis Elya Lopian, Leib Gurwicz and Nachman Shlomo Greenspan. He also studied in Jews' College and the University of London.

He married Amélie Munk of Paris, the daughter of a prominent rabbi, who would support his community work throughout his life. They had six children.

His first position was as rabbi of the Brondesbury synagogue. In 1949, at the relatively young age of 27, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the declining Jewish community of Ireland. This was to be a stepping stone towards a greater rabbinical career, and in 1958 he assumed the rabbinate of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York, a position he held until 1966, when he was called to the Chief Rabbinate of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. He held this position until his retirement in 1991.

He was knighted in 1981 and was created a life peer in 1988, as Baron Jakobovits, of Regent's Park in Greater London, becoming the first rabbi to receive this honour. In 1987 he was given a Lambeth DD by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Jew to receive such a degree. In 1991 he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In the House of Lords he became known as a campaigner for traditional morality. Lord Jakobovits aroused considerable controversy when, after the discovery of a possible genetic explanation for homosexuality, he called for the eradication of this genetic variation.[citations needed]

Lord Jakobovits died of a cerebral haemorrhage on the 31 October 1999, and was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Other functions

Rabbi Jakobovits was also the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, in which capacity he worked on standardising and regulating religious conversion to Judaism.

Ideas and philosophy

Jakobovits was a firm adherent of the "German-Jewish" Torah im Derech Eretz philosophy, having a broad knowledge of religious subjects as well as secular culture and philosophy. This made him a unique spokesperson for Orthodox Judaism, as he was able to transmit ideas to a wide audience which would otherwise not have achieved dissemination.

Rabbi Jakobovits was the most prominent figure in 20th century Jewish medical ethics, a subdiscipline in applied ethics which he virtually created, and a pioneer in religious bioethics. His speciality was the interaction between medical ethics and halakha. Thanks to his academic training in Ireland, Rabbi Jakobovits approached his comprehensive volume, Jewish Medical Ethics, in light of Roman Catholic medical ethics, with which he often compares Jewish ethics. Whether developing or disputing his analysis, subsequent Jewish bioethicists have utilized his work on abortion, euthanasia, the history of Jewish medical ethics, palliative care, treatment of the sick, and professional duties. Likewise, he is credited with popularizing the claim that Judaism supports the nearly absolute sanctity of life.

His political stance was conservative, and he was particularly close to Margaret Thatcher. When a Church of England report titled Faith in the City was published in December 1985 criticising Mrs. Thatcher's policies, Jakobovits responded by attacking its underlying philosophy. Jakobovits argued that work rather than welfare should be the overriding aim of government policy: "Cheap labour is better than a free dole". More controversially, Jakobovits contended that inner-city black people should learn from Jewish experiences in America. There, he argued, Jews had worked themselves out of poverty, educated themselves, integrated into the host culture and nurtured a "trust in and respect for the police, realising that our security as a minority depended on law and order being maintained". Jakobovits also took a conservative view on trade unions, criticised "Faith in the City" for not mentioning the role of trade unions, arguing that "The selfishness of workers in attempting to secure better conditions at the cost of rising unemployment and immense public misery can be just as morally indefensible as the rapaciousness of the wealthy in exploiting the working class".

Within Judaism, he held mildly Zionistic views. He maintained that sooner or later Israel would need to negotiate the territory it conquered during the Six Day War; which made him a controversial figure, as he mentioned these views publicly.

From 1966-1991 Chief Rabbi of England

Immanuel Jakobovits had come to England as a teenage refugee, and had served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland and in New York. He had written his doctorate on Jewish Medical Ethics, now an established academic field of which he was largely the founder.

Beginning his Chief Rabbinate in a community obsessed with the pursuit of unity, Immanuel Jakobovits deftly defused the issue and then placed Jewish education firmly at the top of the communal agenda. His tenure saw an enormous expansion of Jewish Day schools, as well as a resurgence of adult interest in Jewish learning.

A tall impressive figure, once described by a non-Jewish admirer as having the presence of Moses, he confidently and eloquently stated the Jewish view on issues affecting British society, and brought a religious perspective to areas previously regarded as being beyond the purview of clerical (let alone Rabbinical) comment. During his tenure, the Chief Rabbinate moved from merely parochial influence to one affecting British life as a whole, while Jakobovits' previous experience in America gave him and his office a pre-eminence on the world Jewish stage that his predecessors had not enjoyed.

The friend and confidant of Prime Ministers, he was knighted in 1981, and raised to the peerage as Lord Jakobovits in 1987. He retired in 1991 and died unexpectedly in 1999.

He leaves a wife Amelie, two sons, four daughters and more than 30 grandchildren.

See:

http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5760spring/profile.pdf

http://www.rabbijablon.com/giants.htm

--------------------

http://wiki.geni.com/index.php/Jewish_Dynasties -------------------- Immanuel Jakobovits

was born in (1921) Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia), where his father Julius was a community rabbi. The family moved to Berlin in the 1920s, where his father became rabbinical judge on a local Beth Din, but fled the country in time to escape Nazi persecutions. In the United Kingdom he completed his higher education, including a period at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva in London, studying under and receiving Semicha from the renowned Rabbis Elya Lopian, Leib Gurwicz and Nachman Shlomo Greenspan[1]. He also studied in Jews' College and the University of London.

He married Amélie Munk of Paris, the daughter of a prominent rabbi, who would support his community work throughout his life.[2] They had six children.

His first position was as rabbi of the Brondesbury synagogue. In 1949, at the relatively young age of 27, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the declining Jewish community of Ireland. This was to be a stepping stone towards a greater rabbinical career, and in 1958 he assumed the rabbinate of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York, a position he held until 1966, when he was called to the Chief Rabbinate of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. He held this position until his retirement in 1991.

He was knighted in 1981[3] and was created a life peer in 1988, as Baron Jakobovits, of Regent's Park in Greater London[4], becoming the first rabbi to receive this honour. In 1987 he was given a Lambeth DD by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Jew to receive such a degree. In 1991 he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In the House of Lords he became known as a campaigner for traditional morality. Lord Jakobovits aroused considerable controversy when, after the discovery of a possible genetic explanation for homosexuality, he called for the eradication of this genetic variation.[citations needed]

Lord Jakobovits died of a cerebral haemorrhage on the 31 October 1999, and was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

[edit] Other functions

Rabbi Jakobovits was also the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, in which capacity he worked on standardising and regulating religious conversion to Judaism.

[edit] Ideas and philosophy

Jakobovits was a firm adherent of the "German-Jewish" Torah im Derech Eretz philosophy, having a broad knowledge of religious subjects as well as secular culture and philosophy. This made him a unique spokesperson for Orthodox Judaism, as he was able to transmit ideas to a wide audience which would otherwise not have achieved dissemination.

Rabbi Jakobovits was the most prominent figure in 20th century Jewish medical ethics, a subdiscipline in applied ethics which he virtually created, and a pioneer in religious bioethics. His speciality was the interaction between medical ethics and halakha. Thanks to his academic training in Ireland, Rabbi Jakobovits approached his comprehensive volume, Jewish Medical Ethics, in light of Roman Catholic medical ethics, with which he often compares Jewish ethics. Whether developing or disputing his analysis, subsequent Jewish bioethicists have utilized his work on abortion, euthanasia, the history of Jewish medical ethics, palliative care, treatment of the sick, and professional duties. Likewise, he is credited with popularizing the claim that Judaism supports the nearly absolute sanctity of life.

His political stance was conservative, and he was particularly close to Margaret Thatcher. When a Church of England report titled Faith in the City was published in December 1985 criticising Mrs. Thatcher's policies, Jakobovits responded by attacking its underlying philosophy.[2] Jakobovits argued that work rather than welfare should be the overriding aim of government policy: "Cheap labour is better than a free dole".[5] More controversially, Jakobovits contended that inner-city black people should learn from Jewish experiences in America. There, he argued, Jews had worked themselves out of poverty, educated themselves, integrated into the host culture and nurtured a "trust in and respect for the police, realising that our security as a minority depended on law and order being maintained".[5] Jakobovits also took a conservative view on trade unions, criticised "Faith in the City" for not mentioning the role of trade unions, arguing that "The selfishness of workers in attempting to secure better conditions at the cost of rising unemployment and immense public misery can be just as morally indefensible as the rapaciousness of the wealthy in exploiting the working class".[5]

Within Judaism, he held mildly Zionistic views. He maintained that sooner or later Israel would need to negotiate the territory it conquered during the Six Day War; which made him a controversial figure, as he mentioned these views publicly.

From 1966-1991 Chief Rabbi of England

Immanuel Jakobovits had come to England as a teenage refugee, and had served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland and in New York. He had written his doctorate on Jewish Medical Ethics, now an established academic field of which he was largely the founder.

Beginning his Chief Rabbinate in a community obsessed with the pursuit of unity, Immanuel Jakobovits deftly defused the issue and then placed Jewish education firmly at the top of the communal agenda. His tenure saw an enormous expansion of Jewish Day schools, as well as a resurgence of adult interest in Jewish learning.

A tall impressive figure, once described by a non-Jewish admirer as having the presence of Moses, he confidently and eloquently stated the Jewish view on issues affecting British society, and brought a religious perspective to areas previously regarded as being beyond the purview of clerical (let alone Rabbinical) comment. During his tenure, the Chief Rabbinate moved from merely parochial influence to one affecting British life as a whole, while Jakobovits' previous experience in America gave him and his office a pre-eminence on the world Jewish stage that his predecessors had not enjoyed.

The friend and confidant of Prime Ministers, he was knighted in 1981, and raised to the peerage as Lord Jakobovits in 1987. He retired in 1991 and died unexpectedly in 1999.

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Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits's Timeline

1921
February 8, 1921
Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany
1949
July 5, 1949
Age 28
Paris, France
1999
October 31, 1999
Age 78
London, England
????
Mount of Olives Cemetery , Jerusalem, Israel