Welcome to the thoughts and reflections of a Liberal Rabbi: Pete Tobias

Welcome to my website! Thanks for visiting. This website will give you the opportunity to find out something about what Liberal Judaism is, about the life of a Liberal Rabbi and what’s happening at The Liberal Synagogue Elstree.

I'll be with Clare Balding on BBC Radio 2's 'Good Morning Sunday' 
at 7.40am on Sunday 15th October 2017

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I'm currently working on two books.  They are:

 'NO JEW WOULD DO THIS' - The Murder of Rabbi Abraham Kohn
THE SECRET CAVE OF ANATOT : The Chronicle of Micaiah ben Gemariah

'No Jew Would Do This' tells the true story of Rabbi Abraham Kohn, a Reform rabbi who was murdered in Lemberg (today's Lviv) in the year 1848. Kohn was rabbi in this eastern city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for less than 5 years when his young and successful life was taken, apparently as the result of a plot by members of the city's Orthodox Jewish community. The story follows the life of the young rabbi from the perspective of his widow and those who supported his work  and benefited from his wisdom.

The Secret Cave of Anatot is an account of a young scribe who was exiled from his home of Jerusalem when the Babylonians came in 597 BCE. His writings came to be concealed in a cave close to the city of Jerusalem at around the time that city was destroyed by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar. They remained there undiscovered for more than 2,500 years until a young archaeology student happened upon them. But the excitement of the find is short lived as the cave seems determined to retain its secret, revealing just enough to explain the origins of the Torah before its secret is once again concealed from the world.

'WHY AM I HERE? (with the emphasis on here)' is now available! Contact rabbi@rabbipete.co.uk to order your copy: £4.99 + £2.00 p&p. Watch out for a visit to your local Liberal synagogue for a talk and book-signing:

A rabbi? What sort of job is that for a Jewish boy? Especially one who rejected all the instructions and obligations that are part of Jewish tradition when they were presented to him as a child.

‘Why Am I Here? (with the emphasis on here)’ tells the story of how Pete Tobias wrestled with the contradictions of a three thousand year-old religious faith in a world that seemed to have lost its way.  A liberal approach to his faith turned him into ‘Rabbi Pete’ and gave him the opportunity to broadcast the message of tolerance and compassion that he believes underpins any genuine religious view. It provides an attitude towards the world and our place in it that can offer hope and insight to those bewildered by some of the claims and demands of traditional religions, believers and unbelievers alike.


‘This book tells the story of how Rabbi Pete eventually found in his religious heritage answers to so many vital questions that had initially challenged him and turned him away from faith. His experiences offer thought provoking answers - and yet more questions - that are relevant to so many searching for meaning in the 21st century.'

Aled Jones, Presenter, BBC Radio 2 ‘Good Morning Sunday’

Available from rabbi@rabbipete.co.uk - cost £4.99 + £2.00 p&p.  Also on www.amazon.co.uk and other online bookstores. e-mail to order your copy now!
You can find details of other recent writing projects by clicking here.  The major achievement of my recent sabbatical was the completion of Liberal Judaism’s new Haggadah, which I co-edited with Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, and which Tammy Kustow designed.  The details of Haggadah b’Chol Dor va-Dor can be found here.


Take a look at this as well – an interesting glimpse into some aspects of the rabbi’s life!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXNb5FR2YS0


My book ‘Liberal Judaism: A Judaism for the Twenty-First Century’ is published by Liberal Judaism. You can read more about it by clicking here and you can order a copy from Liberal Judaism by contacting Liberal Judaism (books@liberaljudaism.org) or by telephoning 020 7580 1663. I hope you enjoy this website. If you have any questions for me, please get in touch - my contact details are at the bottom of the page.  My book ‘Never Mind the Bullocks’ can also be ordered from this website – click here for details.


I broadcast regularly on Radio 2 and you can find the scripts of some of my broadcasts on this page.

Rabbi Pete Tobias