In Memoriam: Sir Isaiah Berlin, OM, CBE, MA, FBA (1909—1997),

Our Society has from time to time seen fit to honour with its presidency men whose eminence in their respective professions has been complemented by the leadership which they have afforded to the Anglo-Jewish community. When Sir Isaiah Berlin accepted our offer of the chair, it was the Society that was hon- oured. This is not the occasion for any detailed obituary chronicle: his fellowship of All Souls’, his distinguished contribution to the war effort as a temporary First Secretary in the British embassy at Washington, the Chichele chair at Oxford, his presidency of Wolfson College – of which he had been effectively the founder – and of the British Academy, and the Queen’s bestowal upon him of the Order of Merit – these say it all. We should rather devote a few moments to considering his significance, his legacy and indeed his challenge.

His two outstanding characteristics – and

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