Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Sacha Baron Cohen To Be Britain’s New Chief Rabbi?

As discussed in last week’s Forward, Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, has announced that he will retire in 2013, and speculation has begun about potential successors.

Sure, it’s fascinating to those of us who keep abreast of developments in the world’s Jewish communities, but did you know it’s also of interest to…. bookmakers. Believe it or not, you can now place a wager on who will fill Sacks’ shoes. Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest betting company, is offering odds on 15 possible — or in some cases pretty impossible — successors. It’s open for bets online, here.

Most potential successors are British rabbis. A favorite (with 13/8 odds) is British export to the U.S. Shaul Robinson, who is currently senior rabbi at New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue. The final column, however, consists of bizarre outsiders. There’s the Israeli modern-Orthodox leader Benny Lau (with 33/1 odds) and the British businessman and boss on the British version of “The Apprentice,” Alan Sugar (250/1).

Some more unlikely candidates come in with 500/1 odds: Sacha Baron Cohen of “Ali G” and “Borat” fame and comedienne Vanessa Feltz. And in case David Miliband — who was recently defeated by his brother Ed Miliband in the race for Britain’s Labour Party — is looking for a post that would make the family kvell, he’s also included as a 500/1 outsider.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.