Defending the faith
Steven R. Harvey, Cheshire SK8
Geoffrey Alderman might not have been the best choice to review Defenders of the Faith, the new history of Jews’ College (Books, April 7).
We all know Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler died in 1911. I wrote (p95) that he resigned as chair of the College Council in 1908; obviously he didn’t resign as Chief Rabbi. Professor Alderman also accuses me of being needlessly polemical. Should one not be critical about the treatment of a vital community organisation, known for years as the Cinderella of Jewish Charities?
As far as the delicate and confidential discussions over the departure of the Chasidic senior lecturer in 1985 were concerned, to which he refers, I wonder if Professor Alderman can remember who carried “the miniature tape recorder I’d accidentally secreted about my person” (JC July 16 2004, p25) when at the meeting with Chief Rabbi Jakobovits? Far from being “polemical”, I am well aware that there are occasions when “discretion is the better part of valour”.