UK's first openly gay Rabbi dies age 86


The UK's first openly gay Rabbi has passed away today (December 19) aged 86.

Lionel Blue was ordained as a Rabbi in 1960. The Jewish religious leader's sexuality was known to friends at the time, and he came out publicly in 1981 - the UK's first Rabbi to do so.

Blue went on join Radio 4's Thought For The Day programme as a regular contributor, earning him an OBE for services to broadcasting.

The news of his death was broken via North London synagogue Beit Klal Yisrael's Facebook page. Describing him as a "wonderful and inspirational man," they paid tribute to his "wisdom and humour," and his commitment to improving the lives of LGBT Jews.

"He was a friend and mentor to many and his courage in coming out as gay in the 1970s paved the way for many other Jews, including many Rabbis," they wrote. "We will not see his like again. May his memory be for a blessing," they added.
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