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American-born rabbi honored by Queen Elizabeth II

(JTA) — An American-born rabbi was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Rabbi Mark Winer, a British subject and a U.S. citizen, is believed to be the first American rabbi to be so honored.

The awards, including knighthoods, were announced on Monday.

Winer, 71, received the honor for services to interfaith dialogue and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. He said in a statement that he was “humbled and thrilled” to accept the honor.

For 30 years, he led congregations in the United States before moving in 1998 to London, where he spent 12 years as senior rabbi of the Reform West London Synagogue of British Jews. Winer is founder of the international interfaith charitable initiative FAITH: The Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony.

British Rabbi Herschel Gluck, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, also received an OBE for services to interfaith understanding.

Another American-born recipient of the OBE award is Brett Wigdortz, 39, for his efforts as founder of the education program Teach First.

Among the other recipients of New Year’s honors from the Queen are several Jews, both born in Britain and elsewhere.

David Kustow, former chair of UK Jewish Film, was awarded an OBE for services to film and for his role in the signing of the British-Israeli film cooperation treaty. Raymond Dwek, an Oxford University professor who co-chairs the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council, was awarded a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE award, for his services to scientific collaboration.

Philanthropist Michael Heller received a knighthood for his charitable services.

An Auschwitz survivor, Mayer Hersh, was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work in the field of Holocaust education.

Penny Ur, a British-born Israeli who studied at Oxford, was awarded an OBE for exceptional work in English teaching.

In total, more than 1,000 people were honored by the queen in advance of the new year, a British tradition since at least 1890.

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Source: JTA

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Posted by on December 31, 2013. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.