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The Prince of Wales attends a tribute dinner to honour the Chief Rabbi

24th June 2013

The Prince of Wales gives a speech during a tribute dinner in honour of Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth at Grosvenor House, central London.

The Prince of Wales gives a speech during a tribute dinner in honour of Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth at Grosvenor House, central London.

The Prince of Wales attended a tribute dinner in honour of Lord Sacks - the outgoing Chief Rabbi.

His Royal Highness said: "Chief Rabbi ”“ I must say, I was profoundly touched and flattered that you should have thought of inviting me to join you here this evening to mark your distinguished tenure as Chief Rabbi. It is a very sad moment for many of us who have grown to value and admire the truly extraordinary contribution you have made to our national life over the past ”“ I can hardly believe it! ”“ twenty-two years."

The Prince joked that both he and Lord Sacks have reached the official age of retirement, and added: "I do hope yours is going to be a bit more realistic than mine!"

During his speech at the Grosvenor House hotel in central London, The Prince also commended Lord Sacks for his dedication to helping young people, in particular the Union of Jewish Students.

He continued: "If you add to this the countless international awards you have received, all of them a testament to your role as a brilliant ambassador for Jewish values and ethics, what becomes clear is the scope and depth of a life devoted not only to putting the British Jewish community on the world stage, but to keeping alive the essential importance of faith in an increasingly Godless age."

Recorded tributes from Prime Minister David Cameron and his predecessors were played on a large screen at the tribute dinner.

Mr Cameron said Lord Sacks had "challenged us to stand up for the place of religion in modern society".

Gordon Brown described him as "one of the greatest thinkers in the world", while Tony Blair said he was "someone who combines huge intellectual gifts, immense human compassion and extraordinary ability".

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commended his "phenomenal contribution" to public life.

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The Prince of Wales pays tribute to the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the tribute dinner in honour of the Chief Rabbi

Published on 24th June 2013

Chief Rabbi I must say, I was profoundly touched and flattered that you should have thought of inviting me to join you here this evening to mark your distinguished tenure as Chief Rabbi. It is a very sad moment for many of us who have grown to value and admire the truly extraordinary contribution you have made to our national life over the past I can hardly believe it! twenty-two years. As we were both born in the year of the State of Israel’s birth, I realize of course that we have both reached the official age of retirement but I hope yours is going to be a bit more realistic than mine!

1991 seems like only yesterday and yet the world has changed so much. It was the year they say the Cold War finally came to an end and when the first Gulf War began, with all the consequences for Britain and the Middle East. Throughout that entire time you have kept your community on a steady keel during some of the greatest political and cultural changes of our generation.

Although, perhaps more important than anything else, 1991 was also the year when Arsenal began their new season as League Champions... And then that triumph quickly turned to disaster when they were promptly knocked out of the FA Cup by Fourth Division Wrexham - a very good Welsh club. Thank goodness my younger son was too young to be aware of such a disaster! But perhaps Wrexham had “God on their side” on that occasion?!

I must say, in all that time, not only have you been a loyal Arsenal supporter, you have also been a steadfast friend. As a valued adviser, your guidance on any given i ...

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