The Rabbi Sacks Legacy
Perpetuating the work, ideas, and teachings of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l.
“We are each called on to fill a number of leadership roles: as parents, teachers, friends, team members and team leaders. There is no doubt, however, that Judaism favours as an ideal the role of parent, encouraging those we lead to continue the journey we have begun, to go further than we did.”
Rabbi Sacks, of blessed memory, was a unique leader in the Jewish world, and far beyond. His voice was one of moral clarity and intellectual depth, for religious and secular audiences alike. His teachings and books inspired hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout the world.
At the core of his philosophy was a Judaism engaged with the world. Through his writings, countless public engagements and the way he lived his life, he sought to demonstrate how the best of Western thought could enhance Judaism, and how Jewish values could help to repair the many fractures in our society and world.
In the aftermath of Rabbi Sacks’ tragic and untimely passing on 7th November 2020, The Rabbi Sacks Legacy1 has been established with a mission to promote the timeless and universal wisdom of Rabbi Sacks zt”l as a Teacher of Torah, a Moral Voice, and a Leader of Leaders.
The Legacy aims to inspire people across society to connect deeper to their faith and to make a meaningful and positive impact on the world. There is a huge amount to do and a remarkable legacy to perpetuate and grow. Read on to learn about our digital impact, our teams, and our key areas of work.
1. The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust was formerly known as The Covenant & Conversation Trust.
Website pages viewed in 2021
Website sessions in 2021
Website users in 2021
Key Areas of Work
In order to ensure that more people have better access to Rabbi Sacks’ wisdom and teachings, the initial phase of our work will focus on:
Ensure Rabbi Sacks’ work is widely available in multiple languages and territories – and that his canon of works is completed. Through his writing, Rabbi Sacks should remain a key ‘teacher’ of Torah and moral voice in the contemporary world in order that:
- Existing students can be continually inspired by his Torah and moral philosophy and able to find new depth in his teachings;
- New audiences are encouraged to be exposed to his teachings;
- Existing works are given new and enhanced visibility / exposure.
Create a Digital Portal that will be a window into Rabbi Sacks’ teachings and act as a digital archive to his work. This will be accompanied by a proactive and tailored Social Media strategy.
Developing educational content to engage the educators in a way that will help make Rabbi Sacks’ philosophy, teachings and ideas accessible to younger audiences throughout the world.
Identifying ways to embed Rabbi Sacks’ ideas throughout Israeli society, across the religious and political spectrum, and in ways that are meaningful and relevant for Israelis; a primary initial focus will be on the formal and informal education networks.
Ensuring that Rabbi Sacks’ teachings help to:
- Encourage and inspire individuals in different areas to take up positions of leadership within the Jewish world – and equip them for the task ahead of them in their leadership role;
- Develop a committed group of talmidim who are immersed in Rabbi Sacks’ personal philosophy and committed to teaching these ideas and messages to inspire others.
Ensuring Rabbi Sacks’ ideas are embedded within the academic world, encouraging the formal study of his philosophy and teaching.
Identifying and creating opportunities to enable Rabbi Sacks’ ideas and teachings to have impact on broader societies.
“A nation becomes strong when it cares for the weak. It becomes rich when it cares for the poor. It becomes invulnerable when it cares about the vulnerable. That is how a nation becomes great.”
Rabbi Sacks addressing the TED Conference, April 2017
The Rabbi Sacks Legacy (previously known as The Covenant & Conversation Trust) has a robust governance structure in place. The Trustees are: Elliott Goldstein (Chair); Michael Goldstein (Treasurer); Dayan Ivan Binstock; Michal Cotler-Wunsh; Daniel Finkelstein; Terri Kirshner-Herenstein; Stuart Roden; Alan Sacks; Lady (Elaine) Sacks; Gila Sacks; Josh Sacks; and Jacob Schimmel.
The trustees of The Covenant & Conversation Corporation – the US-based 501c3 – are: Elliott Goldstein; Naomi Hass-Perlman; and Alan Sacks.
An American Board of Governors is being established to advise the Legacy on all aspects of US-based activity: Ingeborg Rennert, President; Naomi Hass-Perlman, Chair; Eric Goldstein.
An Israel Advisory Board is also being established to specifically focus on the task of widening the exposure to Rabbi Sacks’ work among all sectors of Israeli society. This Board will be chaired by Alan Sacks, Rabbi Sacks’ brother.
The professional staff team consists of Joanna Benarroch, Jonny Lipczer, and Debby Ifield, all of whom worked for many years for Rabbi Sacks during his lifetime. They have developed many of the relationships with organisations, supporters, and individuals who can play a critical role in perpetuating Rabbi Sacks’ legacy.
Work is monitored and evaluated at regular trustee meetings throughout the year and minutes are kept. Projects have specific objectives, success criteria, and timelines for completion. Digital analytics are available in order to monitor online impact and well as anecdotal evidence from partner organisations.
A Letter in the Scroll
The closing words of Rabbi Sacks’ book Radical Then, Radical Now (also published as A Letter in the Scroll), are as follows:
“This, then, is our story, our gift to the next generation. I received it from my parents and they from theirs across great expanses of space and time. There is nothing quite like it. It changed and still challenges the moral imagination of humankind. I want to say to Jews around the world: Take it, cherish it, learn to understand and to love it. Carry it and it will carry you. And may you in turn pass it on to future generations. For you are a member of an eternal people, a letter in their scroll. Let their eternity live on in you.”
It was a privilege for our generation to live in Rabbi Sacks’ midst. Now he has physically left this world, it is our responsibility to ensure Rabbi Sacks’ greatest gifts – his teachings, writings, ideas and wisdom, all so relevant to our challenging times – live on in our hearts and minds, and in those of our children and grandchildren, and for generations to come.
Each of us is a letter in the scroll. We now have to write the next chapter. If we do this, we will be inspired and guided to even greater heights, as Jews and as human beings.
We invite you to join us on this mission. You can make a donation to support our work here.
Contact Joanna Benarroch
+44 (0)20 7286 6391