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24 Cheshvan 5760 - November 3, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Former U.K. Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits is Niftar

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Former Chief Rabbi of the U.K. Lord Immanuel Jakobovits passed away at the age of 78. He was buried on Har HaZeisim

Lord Immanuel Jakobovits was born in Koenigsberg in February, 1921, the son of Julius Jakobovits, rabbi of the local Orthodox congregation and later dayan in Berlin and London. The family moved to London after Hitler rose to power in Germany.

He studied at Jews' College and at the Eitz Chayim Yeshiva, London. After serving as minister to a number of London synagogues starting at the Brondesbury Synagogue, in 1949 he became chief rabbi of Dublin and of the Jewish communities in the Irish Republic.

From 1958 Rabbi Jakobovits was rabbi of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, New York until 1966, when he was appointed chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, serving until his retirement in 1991. He was knighted in 1981 and made a peer (Lord) in 1988.

To the end he maintained a full schedule. Although he had generally weakened, he had not been especially ill. Soon after havdoloh on motzei Shabbos parshas Vayeiro, which he made as usual, he suffered a severe stroke, passing away several hours later of a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

Rabbi Jakobovits served as president of the Conference of European Rabbis where, among other things, he led the effort to regulate the Jewish conversion procedures.

Always an original thinker, he represented the Jewish world with grace and dignity. Whenever he rose to speak in Britain's House of Lords he commanded the rapt attention of the entire assembly. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was "a man deeply respected and widely admired throughout the whole of this country for his faith, his ability, and his courage. He will be sorely missed."

A service took place at London's Hendon Synagogue on Sunday afternoon, followed by a levaya in Yerushalayim on Monday morning. Speaking in Yerushalayim were current British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Rav She'er Yoshuv Cohen of Haifa, HaRav Simcha Kook of Rechovot and Rav Shmuel Jakobovits, the son of the niftar. All of the speakers noted that the niftar created a tremendous kiddush Hashem in all of his extensive dealings with the non-Jewish world. HaRav Kook said of him, "Kulo omeir kovod."

Chief Rabbi Jakobovits is survived by his wife, Lady Amelie Jakobovits, six children, and many grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all of whom are following the path that he charted.

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