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January 2, 2023 3:10 pm
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UK Chief Rabbi Receives Knighthood in King Charles’s First New Year Honors List

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Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Britain’s chief rabbi. Photo: Reuters/Simon Dawson

Britain’s chief rabbi was among several Jewish dignitaries to feature on the first New Year Honors list assembled by King Charles III, who ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was awarded a knighthood as Commander of the British Empire in recognition of his “significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education.”

The 66-year-old Mirvis — who was born in South Africa and will now be known as Sir Ephraim — said he had been “enormously honored and deeply humbled” to receive a knighthood.

“It will be particularly moving for me to receive this award from his majesty the king in his first year as our monarch,” Mirvis said in a statement. Mirvis became chief rabbi in 2013, replacing Jonathan Sacks, who also received a knighthood.

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The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, her predecessor Jonathan Arkush, six Holocaust survivors and the TV presenter Rachel Riley were also recognized on the list. Riley was awarded for raising Holocaust awareness and opposing antisemitism.

Smajo Beso, an educator at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Genocide Education and Commemoration. Lily Ebert, a 99-year-old survivor of the Holocaust, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Holocaust education.

Other Jews to be honored in the new year list include Mark Gardner, the chief executive of defense organization the Community Security Trust (CST), Linda Rosenblatt, Chair of the World Jewish Relief Connections Committee and Rabbi David Kale, the faith leader of Belfast Synagogue in Northern Ireland.

 

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