Hugo Gryn


Hugo Gryn

Rabbi Hugo Gabriel Gryn (1930-1996) was a British Reform rabbi who was a popular broadcaster and a leading voice in interfaith dialogue.

Hugo Gryn was born on 25 June 1930 into a prosperous Jewish family in the market town of Berehovo in Carpathian Ruthenia, which was then in Czechoslovakia.

Gryn’s family were interned in Auschwitz in 1944. Hugo and his mother survived but his brother and father both died. Gryn came to Britain in 1946 and studied Mathematics at Cambridge. After training as a rabbi in America, he served in one of the largest congregations in Europe, the West London Synagogue for 32 years.

Gryn became a regular radio broadcaster and appeared for many years on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day and The Moral Maze. He died on 18th August 1996. He was described as "probably the most beloved rabbi in Great Britain" by Rabbi Albert Friedlander. [ [http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article38812.ece Rabbi Albert Friedlander - Rabbi Emeritus of Westminster Synagogue (Saturday, 10 July 2004)Obituaries, News - The Independent] ] The Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks provoked considerable controversy in the Anglo-Jewish community when he refused to attend the funeral service. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1996/09/01/nrabi01.html Telegraph - Sunday 1 September 1996 Issue 466)Chief Rabbi under fire for missing Gryn's funeral - By Jonathan Petre] ]

In 1989, Hugo returned to Berehovo together with his daughter Naomi to make a film about his childhood [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466534/plotsummary Chasing Shadows (1991) - Plot summary:imdb.com] ] . After his death, Naomi Gryn edited his autobiography, also called "Chasing Shadows" [ [http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/rguides/uk/0140286616_intro.html Hugo Gryn Chasing Shadows - Introduction by Naomi Gryn (penguin.co.uk)] ] , which deals movingly with his experiences as a holocaust survivor.

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