The Movement for Reform Judaism is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former Chair, Michael Grabiner CBE.
Mike, who was Chair of the Reform Movement from 2005 to 2008, died on Thursday at the age of 71 after a long illness.
We send our heartfelt condolences and best wishes to Mike’s wife, Jane, his siblings; Susan Goldsmith, Stephen and Robert Grabiner, together with his children and grandchildren, and wish them all long life.
Mike was awarded CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012 for his services to education, having been instrumental in creating the cross-denominational school JCoss, where he was a former Trustee and Chair of Governors.
Mike was brought up in an Orthodox community in Hertfordshire but became a member of Finchley Reform Synagogue after he and Jane were married, and was soon heavily involved in the Reform movement, thanks to the inspiration of Rabbis Tony Bayfield and Jeffrey Newman.
He held strong egalitarian and progressive values and these were key to establishing the Movement’s position in religious affairs. He was able to share his values during his time as Chair of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and was held in the highest regard by all who came into contact with him.
Mike’s personal charm and temperament were instrumental in bringing people together and along with his capacity to give freely of his time, his influence within the Reform Movement will always be remembered. We will always remain deeply grateful for his passion and support for our Movement.
Y’hi zichro baruch – may his memory be a blessing.