Communities in Conversation
A Day of Worldwide Learning in Memory of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks זצ׳׳ל
The second yarhzeit (the anniversary of a person’s passing) of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks זצ׳׳ל will be held on 13th-14th November 2022 (Hebrew Date: 20th MarCheshvan 5783).
To mark this date, The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust has invited all interested individuals, families, schools, organisations, learning groups, universities, and communities from around the world to unite by planning an annual day where they can learn and teach some of Rabbi Sacks zt”l’s Torah in his zechut and in his memory.
With over 150 schools, communities, and learning groups already signed up to take part, this second yahrzeit event looks to be embraced even more broadly than last year. We are delighted to see events being planned across six continents, from Israel to Indonesia, Chile to Canada, and from the UK to the US. We invite more communities and individuals to join this global initiative. Register your event and access learning resources at www.rabbisacks.org/yahrzeit, and your community will be included in our list of partners. Or for schools looking to participate, visit www.rabbisacks.org/schools/.
Communities and Jewish day schools across Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Mexico, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are planning events on or around this day of learning, inspired by Rabbi Sacks’ teachings and his passion for learning through dialogue.
“His mission to inspire deeper conversations on what Judaism means to the individual remain just as relevant on his second yahrzeit as they were when he first spoke them,” Rabbi Sacks Legacy’s Chief Executive Joanna Benarroch said. “In his memory, we will bring communities and schools together to learn and to discuss, sharing his wisdom and his teachings with each other and with the world,” she added.
“My father learned from books, from text, from laws, history, and from world events. But mainly, he learned from people,” Rabbi Sacks’ daughter Gila said.
“He would seek out people to learn from, from every possible path of life, and he would do this through conversation – through talking and listening. For him, conversation was a defining and spiritual act, a way of opening ourselves up to something beyond the individual, a training perhaps, for opening ourselves up to God.”
Our 2022 recommended theme is “From Optimism to Hope”, a profound idea often expressed by Rabbi Sacks. The multifaceted lesson plan, which includes curated videos and source sheets, is aimed at sparking discussion among participants of all ages and all religious backgrounds. Communities and individual groups are welcome to tailor events however they wish – by inviting guest speakers, delving into Rabbi Sacks’ teachings, or utilising the resources we provide. Each community and group is unique, and will choose to embrace this annual day in their own way, and every participant will be continuing the legacy of Rabbi Sacks, by learning from his beautiful and timeless teachings.
The inaugural Communities in Conversation programme took place in October 2021. The high quality and the sheer level of community engagement was a truly moving testament to Rabbi Sacks’ memory, and his global impact. This year we have expanded our learning resources to teenagers, translated them into multiple languages, and see and even greater enthusiasm from communities around the globe.
Please join us again this November, as we learn in the merit of Rabbi Sacks and ensure his voice continues to be heard.
Our separate programme, specifically aimed at young people, is available on a different page. If you are a teacher or work in a school and wish to instead learn more about our Global Day of Learning in Schools, please visit https://rabbisacks.org/schools/.
May the soul of Rabbi Sacks be elevated in merit of the learning we will do in his memory.
If you wish to donate, to support the ongoing work of The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust and its mission to ensure Rabbi Sacks’ ideas and teachings continue to inspire our – and future – generations, please click here.