Brasch, Rudolph

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BRASCH, RUDOLPH (1912–2004), Australian Reform rabbi. Brasch was born in Berlin to British parents, his father having been one of the early pioneers in South Africa. He studied at the universities of Berlin and Wuerzburg, where he received his doctorate, and, under Rabbi Leo *Baeck, at the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin, where he received his rabbinical diploma. After having held ministerial positions in London, Dublin, and Springs, South Africa, in 1949 he was appointed minister of Temple Emanuel, Sydney, and later ecclesiastical head of the Australasian Union for Progressive Judaism.

Brasch was active in the field of public and interfaith relations, conducting a weekly television program and contributing a regular weekly column on "Religion and Life" to the Sun-Herald, the leading Australian Sunday newspaper.

A prolific author, Brasch has a large number of books to his credit, some of which have gone into a number of editions and have been republished as paperbacks. They include The Star of David (1955) and a companion volume The Eternal Flame (1958); The Unknown Sanctuary (1969, American edition Judaic Heritage). His How Did It Begin (Customs and Superstitions and Their Romantic Origin, 1965) has gone into ten editions and has been translated into German and Japanese. He wrote the first biography of General Sir John *Monash, which was published by the Royal Australian Historical Society (1969).

He was awarded an O.B.E. in 1967. After his retirement from Temple Emanuel in 1979, he served for some years as a rabbi in Birmingham, Alabama.

add. bibliography:

Obituary, in: Australian Jewish News (Nov. 26, 2004); W.D. Rubinstein, Australia ii, index.

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