John D. Rayner

Michael Shire, Michael Stannard, David Goldberg, Charles D. Middleburgh, Jeffrey Newman, Sidney Brichto, Danny Rich, Albert H. Friedlander
2006 European Judaism  
Leo Baeck College-Centre for Jewish Education mourns the great loss of our teacher, rabbi and Hon. Vice-President Rabbi John Rayner on 19th Sept 2005/15 Elul 5765. Rabbi Rayner, Hon Life President of Liberal Judaism was a former Director of Studies at the College and senior lecturer in Rabbinics for over forty years. He taught generations of rabbinic students rabbinic codes, liturgy and Progressive Jewish thought and practice. His mastery of rabbinic texts, scholarship and his precise and
more » ... s precise and insightful mind provided the College and all its faculty and students with a towering intellect that continues to be unsurpassed. Coupled with an absolute integrity and a passion for the ethical imperative in religious life, Rabbi Rayner was an archetype for Progressive Jews everywhere. He sought to achieve the highest aspirations of intellectual honesty and moral rightness and yet was most unassuming in his kind and generous relations with all; congregants, students and colleagues alike. Though a perfectionist with a keen eye for detail, Rabbi Rayner exhibited a sense of humour and fun which was easy to uncover behind the rabbi and scholar. As a lover of language and literature he was widely read in the Humanities as well as all Jewish subjects. As the Senior Minister and Rabbi Emeritus of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue and a leader in the World Union for Progressive Judaism, he represented the intellectual traditions inherited from his mentors Rabbi Israel Mattuck and Claude Montefiore. Rabbi Rayner wrote of these founders of Liberal Judaism including Lily Montagu: EUROPEAN JUDAISM VOLUME 39 No. 1 SPRING '06 123
doi:10.3167/001430006780640236 fatcat:ifiv77wkfjdezcun3rcgtmdcl4