Bar-Ilan University to host open conference on the legacy of Rabbi Sacks

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Bar-Ilan University to host open conference on the legacy of Rabbi Sacks

Academics from around the world will convene in Ramat Gan next week to discuss the ideas and influence of the late religious leader

Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. 
© Blake-Ezra Photography Ltd. 2013
Former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. © Blake-Ezra Photography Ltd. 2013

A three-day conference dedicated to the Jewish political and philosophical thoughts and influence of the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is to be held at Bar-Ilan University in Israel next week.

Chief Rabbi from 1991 to 2013, Sacks was a prolific author and speaker until his death from cancer in November 2020. He won both awards and fans across the Jewish world and beyond for his intellectual and philosophical output.

The conference, sponsored by Jewish News, is being organised between the university and The Rabbi Sacks Legacy, and will include a greeting from Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as from Rabbi Sacks’ brother, Eliot.

Topics to be covered include Sacks’ ideas on Jewish thought and religious Zionism, countering religious extremism, the ethics of responsibility, Orthodoxy in modernity, religious leadership, and his vision for Israel and the Jewish people.

Alongside academics from Bar-Ilan, there will be speakers from Oxford, McGill University, Yeshiva University, the University of Chicago, Seton Hall University, Arizona State University, the Hartman Institute, and London School of Jewish Studies, as well as Rabbi David Wolpe from Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and Prof. Robert Putnam from Harvard.

Sacks received an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan, as well as the ‘Guardian of Zion’ Award from the University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies.

The conference, which starts on Tuesday 17 January, will be at Bar-Ilan University campus in Ramat Gan. Sessions are primarily in English and open to the public.

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