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Britain's Chief Rabbis were attempting to respond to the new religious climate, and deployed a variety of tactics to achieve their aims. This book presents a radical new interpretation of Britain's Chief Rabbis from Nathan Adler to Immanuel Jakobovits. It examines the theologies of the Chief Rabbis and seeks to reveal and explain their impact on the religious life of Anglo-Jewry. The book begins with the study of Nathan Marcus Adler, Chief Rabbi from 1845, and it then explores how in 1880 Hermann Adler became Delegate Chief Rabbi on his father's semi-retirement to Brighton. In the pre-modern era, and for a while after, rabbis saw themselves and were seen as the heirs of the rabbinic tradition, whose role first and foremost was to rule on matters of religious law. The book argues that the Chief Rabbis' response to modernity should be viewed in the context of Jewish religious responses that emerged following the Enlightenment and Emancipation. It sketches out a possible typology of those responses, so that Chief Rabbis can be placed in that context. Chief Rabbis were members of the acknowledgement school, which contained a number of different theological currents: romantic, scientific, aesthetic and nostalgic. Hermann Adler was the Chief Rabbi during his time, and his religious policies were to a great extent motivated by his religious ideas. Joseph Herman Hertz's theology placed him in the traditional group within the acknowledgement school, although he was influenced by its scientific, romantic and aesthetic branches.

Abstract only
Benjamin J. Elton

1845, but my intensive analysis starts in 1880 when Hermann Adler became Delegate Chief Rabbi on his father’s semi-retirement to Brighton. Hermann Adler became Chief Rabbi after his father’s death in 1890 and served until his death in 1911. The second Chief Rabbi I examine closely is Joseph Herman Hertz, appointed in 1913, who held the office until he died in 1946. The insights into Adler and Hertz’s theology enable us to place in proper context their successor as Chief Rabbi, Israel Brodie, who assumed the office in 1948 and held it until 1965. Finally, I examine the

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Benjamin J. Elton

Papers, Southampton University Library (HP SUL) 175/70/3; E. Levine, ‘Memoir’ in Epstein (ed), Joseph Herman Hertz, 1871–1946: In Memoriam (London 1947), 2. 4 R.E. Fierstein, A different spirit: the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1886–1902 (New York 1990), 95–96. 5 HP SUL MS 175 44/3. 6 M. Davis, The emergence of Conservative Judaism: the historical school in 19th-century America (Philadelphia 1963), 315; M.L. Raphael, Profiles in American Judaism (San Francisco 1984), 137. 7 HP SUL MS 175 70/3. 8 M. Freud Kandel, ‘The theological background of Dr Joseph H

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Benjamin J. Elton

, Pentateuch, passim. Ellenson, review of Vindication, 75. Hertz, Affirmations, 50; Hertz, Pentateuch, 399. Hertz, Early and late, 97. HP SUL MS 175/61/6. H. Adler, ‘The sons of the prophets’ in Harris (ed) Jews’ College jubilee volume (London 1906), 15–16. J.S. Gurock, ‘Twentieth-century American orthodoxy’s era of nonobservance, 1900–1960’ Torah u-Madda Journal 4 (2000), 34. Hertz, Pentateuch, 194. Ibid. Ibid. Hertz, Affirmations, 27. Meirovich, Vindication, 163. I. Epstein (ed), Joseph Herman Hertz, In Memoriam (London 1947), 29. 196 Theology and policy, 1891–1946 122 M

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Benjamin J. Elton

The Chief Rabbis' theologies were reflected in their communal policies. They fought against those in the Jewish community who adopted different religious approaches. They excluded them from the United Synagogue or wrote and spoke against them, as both Hermann Adler and Joseph Herman Hertz did in their confrontation with the Liberal Jewish Synagogue. Jonathan Sacks has highlighted the role played by the inherent traditionalism of the British-influenced Anglo-Jews. David Englander has pointed to the association of the United Synagogue with the Anglican Church as an 'official' form of religion, and with respectability. The Chief Rabbis adopted an expansive ideology, to bring as many as possible into the fold by leniency where possible within halakhah. This strategy was vital to the establishment of their freely accepted religious hegemony in Anglo-Jewry, with the result that schools other than the acknowledgement school remained comparatively small.

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Abstract only
Benjamin J. Elton

time Adler died in 1911 he was conscious that despite his high standing in the wider world he was having difficulty managing his own community. In his final message to the community he called for a successor who could appeal to the East End and West End Jews.95 It took two years of searching before the election of J.H. Hertz. Joseph Herman Hertz was born in Slovakia on 25 September 1872.96 His father was a teacher and Hertz’s first instructor in Bible and Talmud.97 The family left Europe for New York in about 1883.98 In 1887 Hertz entered the newly established Jewish

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Benjamin J. Elton

146 Theology and policy, 1891–1946 1 Nathan M. Adler, Chief Rabbi 1845–1890 (author’s collection) eligious policy of Hermann Adler 147 2 Hermann Adler, Chief Rabbi 1891–1911 (courtesy of the London School of Jewish Studies) 148 Theology and policy, 1891–1946 3 Joseph Herman Hertz, Chief Rabbi 1913–1946 (author’s collection) eligious policy of Hermann Adler 149 4 Israel Brodie, Chief Rabbi 1948–1965 (courtesy of the London School of Jewish Studies) 150 Theology and policy, 1891–1946 5 Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi 1967–1991 (Courtesy of the London

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970