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Israel Brodie is Born

Today in Masonic History Israel Brodie is born in 1895.

Israel Brodie is a British Rabbi.

Brodie was born on May 10th 1895 Newcastle, England. He was educated in Balliol College, Oxford.

Starting in 1923, Brodie served as the Rabbi of Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, Australia. He served in the position for fourteen years. During this time he was influential in establishing the Zionist Federation of Australia.

Brodie was present at the Battle of Dunkirk during World War II and was one of the British soldiers evacuated. The Battle of Dunkirk is most notable because of the unusal methods used by the English to evacuate the beaches. Civilian vessels were pressed into service to take soldiers from the beach under German attack. By the end of the war he was the Senior Jewish Chaplain, which is also referred to as the Forces Rabbi.

Soon after the war, at the age of 53, Brodie became the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. He also presided over the post-war expansion of the United Synagogue, a union of all British Synagogues.

Brodie founded the Conference of European Rabbis and led the organization. He took a significant part in rebuilding the religious life of European Jews after the Holocaust.

During his time as Chief Rabbi he toured the Commonwealth and strengthened the Jewish community in a quiet and significant way. In his closing years his work was overshadowed by religious dispute between Brodie and Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs. Rabbi Jacobs questioned the orthodox belief the Bible had been written by the hand of God. Brodie prevented Rabbi Jacobs from becoming the principal of Jews' College also known as the London School of Jewish Studies.

On his retirement he was knighted for "services to British Jewry."

Brodie passed away on February 13th, 1979.

Brodie was a Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of England.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.