Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2005


A PERSONAL STATEMENT MADE MORE IN SORROW THAN IN ANGER Earlier this month the Open University held a meeting with representatives of all its accredited institutions to tell them what it intends to do to deal with the "Limited Confidence" outcome of the audit of its collaborative provision undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency last May. The result of this audit, and the manner in which the OU responds to it, are likely to have profound implications for the way in which all British institutions of higher education manage their collaborative arrangements in the future. The "Limited Confidence" verdict cannot have come as any surprise to those familiar with OU procedures, as implemented through its validation arm, Open University Validation Services - OUVS. When in 1992 the polytechnics were enabled to become universities, and were freed thereby from supervision by the Council for National Academic Awards, the CNAA itself was shut down. Realizing that this closur


I have this week written to the President of the Federation of Synagogues in London asking him and his fellow Honorary Officers to fill the vacant office of "Rav Rashi" - Chief Rabbi - of the Federation. In my letter I reminded the President (Mr Alan Findlay) that the last holder of this office was the late Dayan Michael Fisher. The need for this office remains as strong now as at the time of its inception - if not stronger. As the Federation grows, and as its influence is felt more keenly in circles beyond the immediate confines of Anglo-Jewry, it needs a public focus, embodied in a rabbi of great sagacity with a strong national profile. "The office has remained vacant for far too long [I have said]. It should be filled without further delay."


The following statement was issued on Friday 05 August 2005 by Professor Geoffrey Alderman: "A month ago the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, publicly declared that he was unable to accept the validity of Mrs Helen Sagal's conversion effected by the official rabbinical authorities in Israel some fifteen years ago. Prior to his delivery of this judgment I has applied, on Mrs Sagal's behalf, to the London Beth Din [over which Sir Jonathan presides] for the delivery to us of copies of every document in its possession relating to her case. This application was made on 20 June 2005 under the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 1998. Accordingly, that Act gave the Clerk to the Beth Din, Mr David Frei, 40 days to comply with this application. On Saturday 30 July, some 41 days after the application, I received a package of materials from Mr Frei. These include notes handwritten by various Dayanim [Judges] relating to the case, and give a unique insight into the motives that l


Statement by Professor Geoffrey Alderman The following statement was issued on Wednesday 06 July 2005 by Professor Geoffrey Alderman following a meeting that took place between Mr and Mrs Sagal and the Chief Rabbi to further explore the refusal of the Office of the Chief Rabbi to recognise Mrs Sagal's conversion effected in Israel some fifteen years ago. "On Tuesday evening, 05 July 2005 I accompanied Mrs Helen Sgal and her husband, Israeli-born Mr Raoul Sagal, to a meeting with the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks. The Chief Rabbi was accompanied by one of his Dayanim (Judges), Rabbi Ivan Binstock, and the Executive Director of his Office, Mrs Syma Weinberg. The meeting, which had been requested by the Chief Rabbi, took place in Mrs Weinberg's private residence, and lasted approximately 90 minutes. At the meeting Sir Jonathan made a statement intended to justify the view that he and his Beth Din {Ecclesiastical Court] had taken, that the validity of Mrs Sagal's conve


PERSONAL STATEMENT BY PROFESSOR GEOFFREY ALDERMAN The following statement was issued by Professor Geoffrey Alderman in London, England, on Monday night, 25 April 2005, following the decision by the Association of University Teachers, taken at the AUT's Annual Conference on Friday 22 April, to boycott the Universities of Bar Ilan and Haifa: "I am an AUT member of some 36 years' standing, and a former Chair of its London Committee. I am shocked and saddened that at its annual conference last week, timed to coincide with the eve of the Passover fesival, the Association saw fit to pass two ill-considered and spiteful resolutions calling on AUT members to boycott two Israeli universities. Leaving aside the legality of what the resolutions propose, in terms of relevant anti-discrimination, equal opportunities and employment legislation, I am saddened that the AUT has allowed itself to be used as the tool of those whose agenda is aimed at the denial of the right of Jewish nationa