Hermann Adler

Hermann Adler HaKohen CVO (30 May 1839 – 18 July 1911; Hebrew נפתלי צבי הירש הכהן אדלר ) was the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire from 1891 to 1911. The son (and successor as Chief Rabbi) of Nathan Marcus Adler, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica writes that he "raised the position [of Chief Rabbi] to one of much dignity and importance."

Hermann Adler

Hermann Adler CVO.jpg
Hermann Adler, by H. S. Mendelssohn ca. 1900
TitleChief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Jewish leader
PredecessorNathan Marcus Adler
SuccessorJoseph Hertz
SynagogueBayswater Synagogue
PositionChief Rabbi
OrganisationUnited Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Adler caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1904


Naftali (Hermann) Adler was born in Hanover. Like his father, he had both a rabbinical education and a university education in Germany, and like him he subscribed to a modernised orthodoxy. He attended University College School in London from 1852–54 and rabbinical college in Prague. He graduated from Leipzig in 1862 with a PhD.[1] He received his semikha (Rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Solomon Judah Loeb Rapoport. He later received honorary degrees from Scottish and English universities, including Oxford.

Rabbinic careerEdit

He was head of the congregation of Bayswater Synagogue, Paddington, during his father's lifetime, and his father's assistant from the time his father's health began to deteriorate in 1879, before succeeding him on his death in 1891.

In 1909 he was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).[2]

Once he was having a lunch with British Catholic cardinal Herbert Vaughan. The cardinal asked the rabbi "Now, Dr. Adler, when may I have the pleasure of helping you to some ham?" The rabbi responded: "At Your Eminence's wedding".[3]

Adler wrote extensively on topics of Anglo-Jewish history and published two volumes of sermons. He was a vigorous defender of his co-religionists and their faith, as well as their sacred scriptures.[4]

He is buried in the Willesden United Synagogue Cemetery in London.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gilman D. C. et al. The New International Encyclopedia, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York 1905, pp.119-120. Accessed 25 July 2014 at Archive.org
  2. ^ London Gazette Issue 28263 pp.4856-7
  3. ^ Lawrence Jeffrey Epstein (1989). A treasury of Jewish anecdotes. p. 8. ISBN 9780876688908. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
  4. ^ Jung, Leo (ed.) "Three Chief Rabbis", Cecil Roth in Jewish Leaders, (Jerusalem 1953)

External linksEdit

Jewish titles
Preceded by
Nathan Marcus Adler
Chief Rabbi of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Joseph Herman Hertz