De­fend­ing the faith

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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”.

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