"My Rabbi" by Anne Cowen

Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs was my Rabbi for over thirty-five years, but more important than that, he was my friend and a friend to my family and community. It is this capacity for friendship, this warmth and gentleness mixed with wisdom that characterised my relationship with him, as a member of his community and as chairman of NLS for four years. His incredible integrity and personal humility shone through all that he said or did. It was totally ‘real’ and unaffected and he never abused his power or position… however challenged by attacks on his beliefs and on being marginalized by parts of Anglo-Jewry. His superb humour and powers of observation, his interest in everyone around him and in their ‘stories’ and in what they had to say. his avid ability to absorb information about everything made him a wonderful companion.
He and Shula made their home totally open for everyone and gave time, consideration, sensitivity and discretion to all. Their ‘double act’ was wonderful to behold and she was a remarkable partner in all his endeavours.
His ability to conjure up just the right word at the right time... to sum up simply, without jargon, complex ideas and thoughts was evident everywhere in his writings, sermons and conversation. His unique sense of timing when telling a joke and the gentle but insightful humour were marvellous. They could only come from a man who observed much and commented with care. His ability to give comfort at times of sadness by saying just the right thing that summed up a multitude of emotions were legion.

His dignity in the face of everything that life threw at him and his ability to try and understand it were extraordinary… sometimes annoyingly so. One wishes he would not be quite so ‘gentlemanly’…but that was who he was - a man who believed in the power of intellectual reasoning combined with the best of the English tradition of tolerance, debate and considerate behaviour. He would have just characterised that as simply being a ‘mench’.
I am sure we all have many fond memories of words he said to us, sermons and lectures we heard, jokes he told, poetry he recited so meaningfully and both ordinary and special events we shared with him. These will live forever as treasured memories of this unique man and I hope we share them with his family and each other as we grieve his loss. He has enriched the lives of countless people in our community and around the world and bought an added dimension to their lives.

I feel deep gratitude for the privilege of having been his friend and of spending time with him.
May his dear soul rest in peace.

Service Times

Friday night: 6:30pm
Shabbat morning: 9:15am
Sunday: 9:00am

Rosh Chodesh:

7:15am weekdays
followed by breakfast
or 8:45am Sundays

Minyan Chadash:

9:45am monthly
See calendar.

Candle lighting based on 18 minutes before sundown; Havdalah based on 8.5 degrees below horizon (Shitat HaG'onim).

Connect With Us

New London Synagogue
33 Abbey Road

Tel: 020 7328 1026

Go to top