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Snapshots of the exhibition at the Leopold Muller Memorial Library

Photo 1.
Sections about the intellectual world and networks of Rabbi Jacobs.


Photo 2.
Close up of a section on historical criticism and revelation.

Photo 3.
Sections about the revelation and Jewish status in the thought of Rabbi Jacobs.



Exhibition Team:

César Merchan-Hamann
Digital Exhibition Designer

Milena Zeidler
Copyright Administrator
Jane Barlow
Zsofia Buda
Digitizing Assistants
Kim Czajkowski
Jon Rainey
Lee Lipton
Ariel Resnikoff



































About the exhibition

The digital exhibition shows selected items illustrating Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs' life and thought. It was accompanied by a physical exhibition at the Leopold Muller Memorial Library, open from January until October 2013.

Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs was one of the greatest Anglo-Jewish scholars and rabbis. He combined an active rabbinical career with tireless activity as a scholar in Jewish Studies, publishing widely on topics such as Jewish thought and mysticism, Jewish liturgy, Hasidism, rabbinics and history. He was most fruitful in the area of Jewish philosophy, specifically in the field of Jewish theology, and it is on Rabbi Jacobs as a Jewish theologian that this exhibition concentrates. At the same time we do not forget his continuous activity as a community rabbi, concerned with practical issues facing his congregation, and always intent on communicating to the "Jew in the pew"  –his words– the ongoing conversation with Jewish tradition that was his intellectual life.

Rabbi Dr Jacobs was in communication with some of the greatest scholars of his time and as a visiting professor he was occasionally able to devote his time to purely academic activities. Yet throughout his working life he was tireless in publishing books in all areas of the field of Jewish Studies, including those that had traditionally received less attention from Jewish scholars, such as Hasidism and mysticism. In this eclectic choice of fields as well as in his wide range of knowledge, he was comparable to scholars such as Gershom Scholem.

Nevertheless, it was the "Jacobs affair" that brought him to the attention of the general public, and its reverberations kept him firmly in the public eye. The Masorti movement, which he did not instigate but which he supported after its birth, changed the tenor of Anglo-Jewish life in ways which would not have been possible had he restricted himself to a purely scholarly career.

Before his demise, Rabbi Dr Jacobs donated his Library to the Leopold Muller Memorial Library thanks to the good offices of the former Fellow Librarian, Dr Piet van Boxel. The Exhibition has benefited from the unstinting help of the Friends of Louis Jacobs, particularly Rabbi Jacobs' son, Mr Ivor Jacobs, as well as the rest of the family. The Exhibition Team is extremely grateful to all who contributed to the project in terms of adding archival material, offerring help, advice, and support.

We hope you enjoy the Digital Exhibition. Please write to us with any feedback you have.



The Exhibition Team is particularly grateful to the following:
Zachary M. Baker, Curator
Judaica & Hebraica Collections,
Stanford University

Richard Burton, Chief Operating Officer
Jewish Chronicle

David Chinitz
Rabbi Dr. Elliot Cosgrove
Park Avenue Synagogue

Anne Cowen
New London Synagogue
Michael Fischer
Friends of Louis Jacobs

Tobey B. Gitelle
Salo W. Baron Family

Rabbi Jeremy Gordon
New London Synagogue
The Herald & Times Group

Prof. Susannah Heschel

Toni Hyams
South Manchester Synagogue

Ivor Jacobs with Family

The Jewish Quarterly

Thena Kendall
Abraham Y. Heschel Family

Roger S. Kohn and the Association of Jewish Libraries

Lancaster University

Lancaster University Archivist

Anthony J. Leon
Felix Carlebach Family

Anna M. Levia, Assistant Curator
Judaica & Hebraica Collections, Stanford University

Camilla Loewe

Rabbi Rodney Mariner
Belsize Square Synagogue

Michael Milston

Prof. Antony Polonsky

Prof. Ada Rapoport-Albert

Simon Rocker, Journalist
Jewish Chronicle

Alan Montefiore

Elisabeth Talbot
Raphael Loewe Family

Rabbi Dr Norman Solomon

Dr Jeremy Schonfield

Shoshana B. Tancer
Salo W. Baron Family
Vallentine Mitchell Publishers

Jo Velleman
New London Synagogue

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
New North London Synagogue