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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A Summons of Montefiore Lodge for 1949 listing Sir Israel Brodie as the Master
   During Chief Rabbi Dr Joseph Hertz’s visit to Australia in 1921 Rabbi Brodie was recommended and finally appointed to replace Rabbi Dr Joseph Abrahams as chief minister of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. He served the community from 1923 to 1937. He was the first President of the Zionist Federation of Australia and New Zealand (ZFANZ) established in 1927 to co-ordinate the activities of the State Zionist Councils of Australia under the patronage of Sir John Monash.
    His involvement in the movement was the beginning of several controversies that marked his life. In this instance, in the light of the Jewish aspirations for a homeland in Palestine, he found himself increasingly distanced from his peers, as his objectives came more and more into conflict with British policy and administration in Palestine encountering, in some instances, outright hostility. In 1935 he was appointed to the editorial committee of the influential and revamped Australian Jewish Herald, which had first seen the light of day in 1879.
    In 1933, he was initiated into Freemasonry in the Duke of Sussex Lodge No. 48 under the Grand Lodge of Victoria and on 1 July 1926 he joined the Victoria Lodge of Research No. 218, of which he became Master in 1930–1931, and he delivered seven lectures in the Lodge between 1927 and 1932. He pursued his Masonic career by being exalted into the Collingwood Chapter in 1935, in which year he was appointed Past Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.
    As a minister serving in the new Melbourne Synagogue, which was completed in 1930, the early years were disappointing, but soon, as a result of very active efforts by the members of the congregation, a flourishing youth group was established, enthusiastic ladies auxiliary met regularly and a large religious school was formed. When Rabbi Israel Brodie, in April 1937, expressed his intention to return to England, everyone felt great disappointment.
    Back in England, he applied to teach at Jews’ College, London and in 1939 he found himself once more recruited to serve as the Jewish Chaplain to the Army and the RAF. In June 1940, with some 330,000 Allied troops, he was evacuated from Dunkirk by sea to England in Operation Dynamo. He finished the War as Senior Jewish Chaplain, nicknamed the Forces Rabbi. He served in the army until he was made Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1948. During the whole of this period 1939–1948, he was active as a Lecturer and Tutor at Jews’ College, which trains rabbis and teachers and which was later renamed The London School of Jewish Studies.
    The Lodge of Israel in London welcomed him on 25 January 1944 as a visitor and saluted him as a Past Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria. Within two years, on 19 November 1946, the year, incidentally, of his marriage to Fanny Levine, a native of Warsaw, he joined the Montefiore Lodge No. 1017, proposed by Bro. Leslie Sober and seconded by Bro. E. Braham.
    His advancement to the chair was speedy. He was elected Master in November 1948 and installed at the Café Royal in London in February 1949. He was to visit the Lodge of Israel on several later occasions: on 9 January, 1958 he was received as W Bro the V Rev Israel Brody, Chief Rabbi and was accompanied by RW Bro Max Seligman, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel. He returned again on 28 April 1960, once more accompanied by Max Seligman, now the MW Grand Master of Israel.
    By now Israel Brodie had been appointed Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and it is not surprising that the Montefiore Lodge attendance book for the day, which has eight pages added, lists 466 guests, including 169 Installed Masters.
    It reads like a Masonic Who’s Who: the Very Rev. W. Bro. Canon Lancaster, Grand Chaplain; the Very Rev. VW. Bro. Bishop of Woolwich; W. Bro. Nat Gordon, RW Master of Montefiore Lodge No. 753 Glasgow, leading a deputation from Scotland; W. Bro. Saul Taylor, IPM; W. Bro. B. R. Gates and W. Bro. S. Barclay, Past Masters and Bro. I. Hyman, and many other distinguished visitors.
    The minutes record Bro Brodie’s active participation in Lodge affairs. His talks and orations were already popular, and as Master, his lecture Four Cardinal Values was particularly well received. At the end of his year as Master, the Lodge presented him with a leather-bound volume of the Summonses issued during his year in office.


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