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Former chief rabbi dies aged 72

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Life peer hailed as ‘giant of Jewish community and wider society’

Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi, has died aged 72.

Lord Sacks served as the figurehead of British Jews for 22 years before stepping down in September 2013.

He was made a life peer in 2009 and became a familiar voice through his regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

His death on Saturday morning was confirmed in a statement by his Twitter account at 6pm.

It said: “Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet. It with the deepest sadness that we regret to inform you that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (HaRav Ya’akov Zvi ben David Arieh z”l) passed away early this morning, Saturday 7th November 2020 (Shabbat Kodesh 20th MarCheshvan 5781).”

Lord Sacks’ successor as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis, described him as “a Torah luminary and intellectual giant who had a transformative global impact”.

The chief rabbi added: “Rabbi Lord Sacks was an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism, helping many to understand and be proud of their heritage. He will be deeply missed, not just within the Jewish…

Peter Stubley

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