Rabbi Eli's Blog

Current issues, sermons and university news

Oxford Chabad Society mourns passing of Lady Jakobovits

Lady Amélie Jakobovits, widow of the late British Chief Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, passed away on Friday after a short illness at the age of 81.

Known affectionately by the Anglo-Jewish community simply as “Lady J,” she was eulogized by the current British Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, as “an extraordinarily vivid figure of seemingly inexhaustible energy and effervescence.”

Born in Ansbach, Germany, the daughter of Rabbi Elie Munk, she survived the Holocaust by escaping to Paris in 1937 and then to Switzerland. It was there that she met Immanuel Jakobovits, shortly before he became Chief Rabbi of Ireland. He later went on to become the rabbi of New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, a position he … Read More »

High attendance for all-night Torah study and cheesecake buffets at Chabad on Campus UK

Blintzes1.jpgChabad on Campus UK celebrated the festival of Shavuot in style hosting traditional all-night Torah study sessions ‘Tikun Leyl’ at eleven campuses across the UK, from Edinburgh to Brighton. The higher than expected turn out took place despite the holiday falling out in the middle of exam period for many students.

South Kensington

At Chabad of South Kensington serving Imperial College, a total of forty five people came through the Chabad House on campus over the festival. Thirty students attended all night classes on the first night, given by students from IC, who spent time preparing the classes and making hand outs. In addition, fifteen students attended the torah reading of the Ten Commandments on Wednesday before sundown fu… Read More »

Sobibor Survivor Toivi Blatt Speaks at Oxford Chabad Society

P1030437.JPGOxford Chabad Society hosts Sobibor Revolt Survivor Thomas Toivi Blatt, 83, to address 500 across the UK

For pictures click here

Oxford Chabad Society hosted this week one of only five living survivors of Sobibor extermination camp, Thomas Toivi Blatt, at the David Slager Jewish student centre in Oxford.


The lecture was called the Esther Jacobs memorial lecture in her memory, who was killed is Sobibor in 1942 when she arrived on one of the transports from Holland.


The event brought the atrocity of Sobibor alive, as the evening brought together the survivor of the revolt in Sobibor, Toivi Blatt, together with the grandson of Esther Jacobs who died in Sobibor, Robert Slager.


The event began with an ad… Read More »

OU Chabad Society celebrates new PM David Cameron’s Jewish ancestry by viewing of rare Hebrew work at Merton College

Oxford Chabad Society has arranged a viewing in Oxford of a rare early printed Hebraic work written by the Jewish ancestor of the new British Prime Minister David Cameron.


Elia Levita was a Jewish 15th century grammarian, who was born in 1467 in Neustadt, Germany, and a good part of his livelihood came from translating and copying Hebrew manuscripts. In 1509 he moved to Rome where for thirteen years he enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Egidio de Viterbo who supported him while he immersed himself in Hebrew learning.


In 1527, Levita landed a comfortable job in Venice at the printing house of Daniel Bomberg, printer of the celebrated Bomberg Talmud, as a corrector.


In 1540, at the invitation of the printer Paul Fagi… Read More »

Oxford University Chabad Society launches annual Human Rights Lecture in Oxford and initiative to combat world of hatred

Baroness Vivien Stern launched an annual lecture for the Oxford University Chabad Society on Human Rights with a lecture entitled ‘Does Britain Still Care about Human Rights’.


The lecture was introduced by Rabbi Eli Brackman, director of the Oxford University Chabad Society, with a talk on Human Rights and Judaism.


Baroness Stern spoke about her work in preserving the values of human rights in the UK. She said that she is optimistic about the future of human rights in the UK and that despite the fact that it has come under a lot of pressure recently with the threat of terrorism it has withstood the test and held its ground. The Baroness finished her lecture by saying that human rights in the UK is fragile and p… Read More »

New Chabad of Shoreditch in the heart of the East End of London hosts Wandering Jews for first Shabbat dinner

Chabad of Shoreditch, East End of London, opened its doors a few months ago with a centre on Shoreditch High Street, in the heart of what is considered the most trendy area of London, serving local residents, working professionals and students.


The new centre hosts weekly lunch time classes on Judaism on a variety of stimulating topics, an informal Kosher cafe and an impressive Jewish art exhibition ‘Kosherface’ on traditional Jewish life round the world by award winning photographer Oxford alumnus Frederic Aranda.


We are delighted to announce that Chabad of Shoreditch is currently moving to the next stage of development and will be hosting periodical Shabbat dinners at the new centre. The first Friday night Sh… Read More »

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