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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, May 30, 2005

Rabbi speaks

"For only the sixth time in 127 years, the Great Synagogue, the mother church of Sydney's Jewish community, has formally welcomed a new leader."

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today on London-born and Oxford-educated Jeremy Lawrence being welcomed into the Sydney Jewish community. Lawrence has already "pioneered Sabbath greetings via SMS and set up adult education classes using his amateur magicians skills to bring Judaism to life for those who have had no prior religious instruction."

He cautions any expectation of a more progressive attitude towards women, making it likely that only men will continue to be able to study the Torah. No mention of the Israel/Palestine conflict, either. With the Jewish state being a central platform around which many Jews congregate, we can probably presume that his position is reactionary and therefore predictable. But, I hope to be surprised. We can only hope in Australia for a mainstream Jewish figure taking a firm stand against oppression in the mould of US-based Rabbi Michael Lerner.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting you're a fan of Lerner; after all, a quick browse of his site suggests he, or is organisation, is to the right of you on the academic boycott of Israel.

Monday, May 30, 2005 5:09:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I disagree with many of Lerner's comments, including the boycott, amongst others. However, he's one of the more progressive voices on these matters, in the mainstream.

Monday, May 30, 2005 5:19:00 pm  
Blogger Asher said...

Jeremy Lawrence moved to Sydney from Auckland, New Zealand, where he was the Rabbi for a number of years.

He is generally seen by most as somewhat of a prodigy, and a likely successor to Jonothan Sacks, the Commonwealth's Chief Rabbi.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 11:09:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Mmmm, sounds promising (not that I ever go to synagogue.) But, where are the comments about Israel and Palestine? I'd be happy to read them, though I suspect like many, it's a moral blind spot.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:28:00 pm  

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