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by John S Levi
256 pages (hardback)
The year 2009 marked the centenary of the birth of Rabbi Herman Max Sanger.
The rabbi's early life was shaped during the tumultuous years of the German Weimar Republic. A gifted linguist, the Berlin Jewish community appointed him their emissary when the Nazis came to power and he left Berlin just one step ahead of the Gestapo.
The young rabbi arrived in Australia in 1936 and immediately began to build the Australian progressive movement both in Melbourne and Sydney. A brilliant orator and teacher, Sanger saw Temple Beth Israel grow from a small group of discouraged Melbourne Jews into the 'mother synagogue' of congregations around Australia and New Zealand. It was often a lonely battle. Rabbi Sanger contended with years of bitter opposition and prejudice.
This fascinating and important biography has been written by his rabbinic successor, Emeritus Rabbi Dr John Levi AM. It has been published by the Australian Jewish Historical Society and sponsored by the Progressive Jewish Cultural Fund.
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