Rabbi Brian Fox AM

January 8, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Rabbi Brian D Fox has passed away in Sydney at the age of 76.

Rabbi Brian Fox affixes a mezuzah at the new sanctuary in the Emanuel Synagogue in 2018

Rabbi Fox led the congregation at The Emanuel Synagogue for 20 years, instrumental in its growth and development.

The current spiritual leader of the synagogue Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins wrote to congregants: “He had incredible vision and dynamism.  He was one of the founders of the Netzer Youth Movement, and Emanuel School was his greatest gift to the community and generations to come.

Previously in Melbourne, he served at Leo Baeck Centre and helped found the King David School there.  After leaving Emanuel in 1999, he served Menorah Synagogue in Manchester until his retirement in 2012 to make Aliya to Israel, followed by his return to Sydney in 2015 to be with his beloved family.”

The message from Rabbi Kamins added: “The synagogue sends our condolences to Brian’s wife Dinah (Dale), their children – Ben, Mim, Shira and Mishi and their families.”

Rabbi John Levi is an old friend of Rabbi Brian Fox.  He said: “Rabbi Brian Fox AM. DD and his wife Dina are our dearest friends. So we are heartbroken. Our friendship goes back to 1959 where I served as a student rabbi to the newly founded Temple Shalom. He came to Australia to work with our Youth camps which became Netzer the international youth movement with branches around the world. He helped establish two Jewish Day Schools —King David in Melbourne and Emanuel in Sydney. He worked as rabbi at three congregations -the Leo Baeck Center in Melbourne, Emanuel in Sydney and Menorah in Manchester. His long-held ambition was to live in Jerusalem which he did until Parkinson’s brought him back to Sydney where his children and grandchildren live.

He was an enthusiast. He was a member of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He served as President of the Council of Christians and Jews in New South Wales and he was Vice President of the Zionist Council. He loved Jewish art and Jewish humour. He collected books. In Israel, he volunteered to be a salesman in a little book shop in Baka.
Brian was never boring. As the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in the course of an interview with us both in 1979  “ A fellow once said to me ‘ You two are dangerous. You could do anything together. Thank goodness you’re rabbis’”
I thank God for Brian.”
The CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire: “Rabbi Fox has left outstanding legacies to our community in the form of Emanuel School and the Netzer youth movement. In addition, he was active in the interfaith space, and I shared platforms with him in this arena and watched him engage with other faith leaders with exceptional erudition and wit.

He was charismatic and much loved, and our community is significantly the poorer for his loss. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

The funeral will be at Emanuel Synagogue on Friday, January 10 at 10 am, minyanim Friday afternoon at Emanuel Synagogue at 5 pm and Sunday evening 6 pm.  A shloshim service will be held at Emanuel Synagogue Sunday, February 9 at 7 pm.

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