‘Enormously honored’: UK chief rabbi knighted by King Charles III

Rabbi Mirvis was awarded the knighthood for his “significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education.”

By World News Israel Staff

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has been knighted by King Charles III as Commander of the British Empire, one of the country’s highest honors.

Rabbi Mirvis was awarded the knighthood for his “significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education”.

“I am enormously honored and deeply humbled by this award,” Mirvis said in a statement to UK media. “It will be particularly moving for me to receive this award from his majesty the king in his first year as our monarch.”

Mirvis was honored for his groundbreaking Jewish-Muslim projects; an intiative bringing together Anglican and Jewish clergy; expanding inclusivity among Orthodox Jewry, including female leadership roles. Mirvis has also spoken out against China’s persecution of its Uyghur Muslim population.

Maurice Ostro OBE KFO, Vice President of The Council of Christians and Jews, said about the knighthood: “This honor is not awarded to faith leaders simply because of their positions, and it is a testament to how he has gone above and beyond his role as Chief Rabbi and his recognition as a leader by both faith and non-faith communities.

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“The knighting of the Chief Rabbi will not only be celebrated in the Jewish and Muslim communities across the UK but by communities of all faith and none,” he said, according to the UK’s Jewish Chronicle.

“It also underlines how the establishment has started to recognise the importance of interfaith engagement as well as the vital contributions of our faith communities and the important role they play in making our country a truly great Britain.”

In 2019, Mirvis took a partisan stand and in an op-ed in The Times urged British voters not to support the Labour Party, at the time helmed by Jeremy Corbyn, which was poisoned with “anti-Jewish racism.”

“It is not my place to tell any person how they should vote. I regret being in this situation at all,” Mirvis wrote near the end of his article. “I simply pose the following question: What will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country? When December 12th arrives, I ask every person to vote with their conscience. Be in no doubt – the very soul of our nation is at stake.”

King Charles has close ties with the UK’s Jewish community.

In contrast to his late mother, the new king has visited Israel. While there, he visited the tomb of his grandmother – Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg – on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Princess Alice was honored as a Righteous Gentile for hiding a Jewish family in her home in Athens during the Nazi occupation.