Jonathan Magonet

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Jonathan Magonet
Born (1942-08-02) August 2, 1942 (age 76)
OccupationRabbi, theologian
Theological work
Tradition or movementReform Judaism
Main interestsInterfaith dialogues between Christianity, Judaism and Islam

Rabbi Professor Jonathan David Magonet (born 2 August 1942)[1] is a British Jewish theologian, Vice-President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and a biblical scholar. He is highly active in Christian-Jewish dialogue, and in dialogue between Jews and Muslims. He was the long-time Principal (Rector or academic director), now retired, of London's Leo Baeck College, the first Liberal Jewish seminary of all of Europe since World War II.[2] He resides in London with his wife Dorothea.

Professor Magonet served on the rabbinic staff at West London Synagogue of British Jews. He has been part of the team constructing the new edition of the British Reform Prayer Book.


He is a trustee of the Maimonides Foundation, a charitable organisation promoting dialogue between Jews and Muslims.[3]

His 1992 book, Bible Lives, presented a series of pen portraits of figures from the Hebrew Bible, both major and (particularly) minor. Originally written for the Jewish Chronicle, they aimed to show that the Bible could still be a 'living' source of deep insight into human character.[4] Magonet has described in the book's introduction the challenge of bringing to 'centre stage' characters like Shiphrah, Puah, Palti ben Laish and Ritzpah with only minimal information about them available from the text, and expressed the hope that readers would themselves go back to the texts to check out or challenge his interpretations.[5]


  • A Rabbi Reads the Bible (1991, 2004) ISBN 0-334-02952-X
  • Bible Lives (1992). London: SCM (ISBN 0-334-00102-1)

Jonathan Magonet,A Rabbi reads the Psalms, SCM-Canterbury Press Limited, 1994


  • "Jonah, Book Of" Anchor Bible Dictionary, 3:936-942


  1. ^ "Rabbi Prof Jonathan Magonet". Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  2. ^ Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives. London: SCM, page x (preface)
  3. ^ "Maimonides Foundation". Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  4. ^ Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives. London: SCM, page ix (preface)
  5. ^ Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives. London: SCM, 1 - 4