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Death announced of Rabbi Lionel Blue

Nigel Gordon

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The death has been announced this morning of Rabbi Lionel Blue. He was European Director for the World of Progressive Judaism and came out publicly as gay in 1980, the first rabbi to do so. In the UK he became well known for his broadcasts on the Thought for the Day slot in BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He was a remarkable man. I met him twice, both times left a distinct impression on me of kindness and generosity.  You can find his obituary here:



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Truly sad news. I greatly enjoyed his broadcasts.


He and Rabbi Simchah Roth gave great hope that the Abrahamic faiths could find it in them to accommodate gay youth.


The best thing a Jewish correspondent said to me was that his gay-congregation was dis-banding because the regular synagogue was now so accepting that a gay congregation was no longer needed.


Those two men between them achieved an enormous amount for us, and Lionel Blue was by far the most visible gay cleric in the UK.

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