Chief Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler: The Forgotten Founder
By Derek Taylor
Nathan Marcus Adler remains the longest serving Chief Rabbi in the history of Anglo-Jewry. Yet today he is a shadowy figure. During his ministry the forerunners of Jewish Care were created, the synagogue service was regularised, Jews’ College opened its doors and the United Synagogue came into existence. At the same time, where countries like America and Germany were moving over to Progressive Judaism, the British community remained resolutely Orthodox. All this was down to Adler.
These were not easy achievements for him. For 45 years, most of the time in partnership with Sir Moses Montefiore as the lay leader, Adler successfully resisted every attempt to undermine his authority. He was the ultimate diplomat, negotiator and leader of his flock. Furthermore, a great deal of what he accomplished remains at the core of the community today.
The book uncovers much new material. It examines for the first time the first half of his life in a prejudiced Germany, the attempt to assassinate him, the truth about the Singer Prayer Book, the politics in his election and why, as a newcomer to Britain, he always had such powerful support. Taylor also delves into the methods he chose to coax and cajole the lay leaders into his way of thinking, and how he achieved his goals.
Nathan Marcus Adler is and has always been underestimated, a deliberate ploy on his part. It is now time he is recognized as a highly successful Chief Rabbi in a turbulent period of the community’s history.
Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell
Publication Date: January 2018
Publication details: 280 pages, 19 illus
Hardback 978 1 910383 67 4 £40.00
Ebook 978 1 910383 68 1 £40.00