Israel Brodie

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Sir Israel Brodie as Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of England

Sir Israel Brodie KBE (10 May 1895, Newcastle – 13 February 1979) was the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth 1948–1965.


He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. He served as a Rabbi of Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Australia from 1923-1937, was evacuated from Dunkirk, and finished the War as Senior Jewish Chaplain aka Forces Rabbi. He became Chief Rabbi soon after the war at the age of 53 when he faced a difficult time due to the ending of the British Mandate in Palestine. He presided over the post-war expansion of the United Synagogue. A dignified man of great presence, he was regarded as a mellifluous preacher. He had impeccable English connections and was a freemason, rising to the senior appointment of 'Grand Chaplain' in the United Grand Lodge of England.[1]

Through the Conference of European Rabbis, which he founded and led, Brodie took a significant part in rebuilding the religious life of European Jewry after the Holocaust. Brodie undertook a number of tours throughout the Commonwealth, and strengthened the community in a quiet but significant manner, although the closing years of his tenure were overshadowed by religious dispute. Brodie banned Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs, who questioned the orthodox notion that the Bible had been written by the hand of God, from becoming principal of Jews' College. On his retirement, he was knighted "for services to British Jewry";[2] the first Chief Rabbi to be so honoured, although his predecessor was appointed to the restricted membership of the Order of the Companions of Honour.


  1. ^ Beresiner, Yasha (October 2006). "Rabbi and Mason". Masonic Quarterly (19): 10. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  2. ^ London Gazette New Years Honours 1969

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Jewish titles
Preceded by
Joseph Herman Hertz
Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth
Succeeded by
Lord Jakobovits