Part 2 of the debate on the Jacobs Affair organized by B’nai B’rith First Lodge on 5th October 2011 at Avenue House in Finchley, with Dr. Lionel Kopelowitz, former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Dr. Kopelowitz comments on Rabbi Jacobs’s involvement in the New West End Synagogue. He mentions the doubts held by many congregants at the prospect of hiring a rabbi trained at the Gateshead yeshiva instead of Jews’ College, and then recalls the few changes that Louis Jacobs introduced to the local schedule: Mincha prayers on shabbat and a weekly shiur, the first of a kind in the United Synagogue. The topics discussed during those weekly classes formed the basis of his book We Have Reason to Believe. Rabbi Jacobs’s main weakness, according to Dr. Kopelowitz, was as a politician. He, and many of his followers, failed to understand the politics at work in Anglo-Jewry and the United Synagogue.