OVER 2000 people attended an online tribute to the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks last Thursday in an event jointly hosted by the Rabbinical Association of Australasia (RAA), the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW).
The tribute evening featured local and international speakers paying their respects to one of the most revered rabbis of the 21st century.
“The event was a fitting tribute to a man whose teachings inspired a generation and will continue to do so for many years to come,” said Rabbi Danny Mirvis, co-vice president of the RCV.
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and Rabbi Sacks’ successor, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, was among the main speakers on the evening, followed by Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum who worked with Rabbi Sacks during his tenure as Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Sacks’ niece, Miriam Sacks Koschitzky, shared insights into Rabbi Sacks as a family man and spoke of the impact he had on her personally.
Other speakers included Australia’s federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, RAA president Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, RCV president Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn and co-vice presidents Rabbis Danny Mirvis and Moshe Kahn, and RCNSW president Rabbi Nochum Schapiro. Prayers were recited by senior dayanim from the Melbourne and Sydney Beth Dins, Rabbis Mordechai Gutnick and Yehoram Ulman.
The tribute concluded with a video compilation of rabbis and rebbetzins from across Australia quoting some of the many teachings of Rabbi Sacks.
Meanwhile, 600 people attended an online commemoration on Wednesday evening organised by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA).
The program included tributes from ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim, ZFA CEO Ginette Searle, Rabbi Ralph Genende as well as Rabbi Benjamin Elton and Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins (on behalf of Rabbi Jacqui Ninio). Psalm 23 was read by Rabbanit Judith Levitan (Hebrew) and Jacquie Seemann (English). El Malei Rachamim was recited by Chazan Mordechai Levin.