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Hugo Gryn's death triggered a huge outpouring of grief, not just from the congregation at the West London Synagogue where hewas rabbi for 32 years, but from the much wider audience who had come to know him as a regular panellist on The Moral Maze and through his broadcasts on various 'God slots' for the BBC and Capital Radio. With just a couple of minutes to inject a dose of spirituality into the daily lives of believers and non-believers alike, Hugo's gentle humour, his warmth and compassion, his deep spirituality and his unquenchable faith in humanity made a lasting impression on listeners and he is remembered with affection by millions. This collection of his best radio scripts, arrangedby theme (ranging from the Holocaust to Mahatma Gandhi) and given a personal and historical context by Hugo Gryn's daughter, Naomi, will delight his existing admirers and bring his wit and wisdom to a new generation. It provides a fitting memorialin what would have been his 80th birthday year.
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Rabbi Hugo Gryn was born in the Carpathian town of Berehovo in 1930 and deported to Auschwitz at the age of thirteen. After the war, he came to Britain with a group of child survivors and then went to America to train for the rabbinate. His first pulpit was in Bombay. Later he became rabbi at the West London Synagogue, a post he held for thirty-two years until his death in 1996, and was the central figure of British Reform Judaism.
Education and interfaith dialogue were his major concerns. He was perhaps best known for his 'ministry of the airwaves', with broadcasts on BBC Radios 2 &4, and Capital Radio, and as a regular panel member of BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze.
Naomi Gryn is a writer and documentary filmmaker. She co-authored and edited Chasing Shadows (Viking, 2000).Review:
Extract reprinted in the Jewish Chronicle (UK) Friday 1st October 2010
'Gryn's daughter has compiled a fascinating, informative and often moving anthology of her father's short broadcasts.' (The American Spectator)
'This book serves to champion the God Slot. It is a collection of small pithy 'sermonettes' that capture Hugo's erudite thinking but also tell the story of his life, his family and the nation during those 17 years or so of broadcasting... Hugo Gryn's memorable reflections stand alone as an instructive, uplifting read '(Jewish Quarterly)
'This book serves to champion the God Slot. It is a collection of small pithy 'sermonettes’ that capture Hugo’s erudite thinking but also tell the story of his life, his family and the nation during those 17 years or so of broadcasting... Hugo Gryn’s memorable reflections stand alone as an instructive, uplifting read '(Sanford Lakoff)
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