The JC edited a letter that Ivor Jacobs wrote for publication.
Miriam Shaviv in her column (last week’s JC) notes the “thirst amongst some orthodox Jews for sophisticated discussion on theological issues”. At the same time she commented on how in the UK the “possibility of open discussion about anything to do with biblical theology” has effectively been shut down.
The purpose of the newly established charity – www.louisjacobs.org is to encourage such open discussion by helping to provide the materials and forum for the continuation of this most important debate.
It is, of course, to be regretted, as Miriam points out, that the UK is way behind the “standards of theological discussion” of committed Jews in other countries. But we do believe there is, indeed, a more open environment being established in the UK and it won’t be long before the writings of Rabbi Jacobs as well as many other modern scholars -and their theologies/arguments- become “on limits.”
Growing interest in this area is evidenced by The Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies arranging a major research fellowship programme, next year, entitled – Orthodoxy, Theological Debate and Contemporary Judaism: Exploring Questions Raised in the Thought of Louis Jacobs. This will be led by Miri Freud-Kandel from Oxford & Adam Ferziger from Bar Ilan. Alongside this scholarly project will be lectures and events in London led by participating academics from across the Jewish world and UK lay leaders.
Details of fellowships for this programme are now available and we do trust that among the applicants there will, indeed, be participation from British Orthodox Jews.
Trustee, Friends of Louis Jacobs.org