Book Review: Hats in the Ring

Hats in the Ring: Choosing Britain's Chief Rabbis from Adler to Sacks by Meir Persoff was reviewed in the Jewish Political Studies Review, Volume 25, # 3–4, November 2014 by Professor Leslie Wagner. Wagner writes:

"Meir Persoff has contributed significantly to our understanding of the British Chief Rabbinate through his previous publications. In this study, [he] has devoted his attention to how the last six chief rabbis were appointed, covering a 170-year period. It is a perceptive choice of subject. The process of choosing leaders of important organizations may tell us a great deal about both the organization and its environment. In Hats in the Ring, Persoff not only explores the intricate politics of each appointment in detail, but also provides the reader with the induction address of each appointee. The work has clearly involved him in ploughing through the dusty archives of many communal organizations, as well as numerous personal papers, along with the more obvious sources of the Jewish and general press. It is all meticulously documented, with copious notes and references. The role and different styles of the various lay leaders, and the often unseemly maneuverings taking place under what appeared to be a serene, calm surface, are described in detail. Persoff is meticulous in his use of sources and judgment about what is relevant or irrelevant. There is important material here for anyone interested in Anglo-Jewish history, and in particular the politics of communal decision-making."

Read the full review here.

Hats in the Ring: Choosing Britain's Chief Rabbis from Adler to Sacks

Meir Persoff

Series: Judaism and Jewish Life
ISBN: 9781618111777 (hardcover) / 9781618112699 (paper)
Pages: 362 pp.
Publication Date: February 2013