4 November 2015
Rabbi Harry Jacobi was surprised with a festschrift written in his honour, as he celebrated his 90th birthday at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS).
Harry, who was born as Heinz Martin Hirschberg in October, 1925, and grew up in Auerbach, Germany, twice fled the Nazis to become one of Liberal Judaism’s most senior and beloved rabbis.
The LJS service was taken by Harry’s children Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi (Birmingham Progressive Synagogue) and Rabbi Richard Jacobi (Woodford Liberal Synagogue), along with LJS senior rabbi, Rabbi Alexandra Wright. Harry gave the sermon.
Others in attendance included Harry’s grandchildren, along with Simon Benscher and Rabbi Danny Rich, the chair and senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Rachael Benjamin and Rabbi Dr David Goldberg.
At the end of the service Harry was visibly moved as his young granddaughter Tali presented him with the festschrift, which was compiled by Rabbi Danny Rich and features contributions from leading Progressive Jewish rabbis and thinkers.
A festschrift is a book, which honours a respected person and is presented during his or her lifetime.
There were also special services and kiddushes in Harry’s honour at Liberal congregations in Woodford, Birmingham, Southgate and South Bucks.
Harry said: “The festschrift was a complete surprise. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and I can’t thank Rabbi Danny Rich and everyone at Liberal Judaism enough. It is just wonderful what everyone has done for me.
“I think about Esther, Chapter 9, Verse 22: Miyagon lesimcha u’me-evel leyom tov – thanking God that I have gone from sorrow to joy and from mourning to a holiday.”
Copies of the festschrift can be purchased by calling Liberal Judaism on 020 7580 1663Visit our online shop to get your copy
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