ISSUE 19, October 2006
Editorial
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Letters
Book reviews
Gardening

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Photo: Montefiore Lodge No. 1017

Sir Israel Brodie wearing the regalia of a Past Grand Chaplain. His skull cap was made from the same material as his apron.
   The Very Reverend Sir Israel Brodie (1895–1975), Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the British Commonwealth of Nations (1948–65), was an active and energetic Freemason and personified British Jewry at its best.
    Notwithstanding the expulsion by Edward I in 1290, the Jewish community have always enjoyed tolerance in Britain unequalled through history by any other nation.
    In 1655 the Amsterdam Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel successfully petitioned Oliver Cromwell to re-admit the Jews and the community began to grow slowly. From the start they embraced assimilation into wider English culture and integrated, so far as possible, into the British style of life, emphasising their British nationality whilst maintaining their own Jewish traditions and way of life.
    It was a distinctive style of Orthodoxy which Theodore Herzl referred to as “everything English, with the old Jewish customs peeping through”. By the mid-nineteenth century the Jewish community had taken its place in the academic, civic, educational and legal fields. In 1837, Queen Victoria knighted Moses Montefiore, and Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was made baronet four years later, the first Jew to receive a hereditary title.
    In 1855 Sir David Salomons was elected as the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London and the 1858 emancipation of the Jews finally allowed Baron Lionel de Rothschild to take his seat in the House of Commons on 26 July, 1858. Benjamin Disraeli, a baptised Christian of Jewish parentage, already a Member of Parliament at the time, became the first and only Jewish Prime Minister in 1874.
    The first rabbinical leader of the community was Aaron Hart (1703–1752) and it was not until 1845 that the formal conferment of the title of Chief Rabbi took place, when Nathan Marcus Adler (1800–1891) was appointed to that post. The concept of a Chief Rabbi was then unique to England and broadly based on the function and duties of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is in his footsteps, and with this rich history behind him, that Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie followed.
    Israel Brodie, son of Aaron, was born in Newcastle-upon- Tyne on 10 May 1895 and received his primary education at Rutherford College, in the same city.
    This followed with higher education at Jews’ College and University College, London and finally at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1917 Israel Brodie enlisted in the RAF and served as a Jewish Chaplain to the Forces to the end of the war. In 1921 he worked for social services in the East End of London until an opportunity to move to Australia came up.


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