James Kennard

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James Kennard
Rabbi James Kennard Purim 08.jpeg
James Kennard, Australian educator, Rabbi, and local community leader
Born24 June 1964
OccupationSchool Principal

Rabbi James Kennard(born 24 June 1964) is an educationalist in the Australian Jewish community.[1] He was previously headteacher of King Solomon High School in Barkingside, London, and since 2007, is principal of Mount Scopus Memorial College.[2]

He was educated at St Paul's School in London and read mathematics at New College, Oxford. While at Oxford in 1984, he took part in British televised quiz-show University Challenge.[3] He received rabbinic ordination in Israel in 1989.

From 1994 until 2004 he was the founding head of Jewish Studies, and subsequently head of Yavneh, a division of the King David High School in Manchester, England. Between 1998 and 2004, he was headteacher of Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School in Manchester.

From September 2004 to December 2006, James Kennard served as the Headteacher of King Solomon High School, Barkingside, London.

In January 2007 he took up the position as principal of Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne, Australia. He has contributed articles to The Age, Jewish News, Australian Jewish News, and the London Jewish Chronicle, and has appeared on BBC radio and TV.

When in Australia he was a member of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria for a period of time, serving on the executive,[4] although he resigned this position because of his view of rabbinic failure.

Kennard is a frequent critic of the rabbinic institutions in Australia. He called for the resignations of the heads of the Yeshiva Centre and the rabbis connected to abuse in the religious community.[5][6][7] Also when the members of the Sydney Beth Din, including Moshe Gutnick and Yehoram Ulman, were found guilty of contempt of court Kennard was the only high profile rabbinic figure to speak against them. He said "I cannot remain silent when the rabbinate of Australia is prevented from fulfilling its primary task – to provide religious leadership to our community – by the refusal of its representatives to act with the highest standards of integrity, which should be the natural hallmark of any who bear the title ‘rabbi’."[8][9]


  1. ^ Who's Who in Australia
  2. ^ ."Jewry in UK and Oz so alike, says Rabbi". Jewish Telegraph. 2010. Retrieved 2016-12-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXQrmAwnGrg
  4. ^ Kleinman, Rachel; Lee, Jane (2015-02-21). "Jewish community failed over abuse". The Age. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  5. ^ Davey, Melissa (2015-02-09). "Senior Jewish leader says Yeshivah rabbis should resign over abuse cover-up". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  6. ^ "Jewish Community Failed over Abuse, by Rachel Kleinman, Jane Lee, The Age, February 21, 2015". www.bishop-accountability.org. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  7. ^ "Rabbi Kennard: Glick must go". The Australian Jewish News. 2015-02-07. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  8. ^ "The rabbis confer". J-Wire. 2018-12-27. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  9. ^ "Rabbi Kennard: 'RCANZ has failed the community'". The Australian Jewish News. 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2018-12-28.

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