Julia Neuberger is a life peer and Britain’s second female rabbi, a role from which she retired in 2020. She famously distanced herself from James Kelman’s 1993 Booker Prize win.
Neuberger thought Kelman’s expletive-rich book not just bad but a ‘disgrace’ and went public with her disapproval. As well as religion, much of Neuberger’s life has been given over to philanthropic and volunteering work, and the writing of books, several of which deal with the ethics surrounding dying. She stood as a Social Democratic Party candidate in the 1983 general election and is a crossbench peer in the House of Lords. She ascribes her charity work to the belief that: ‘I always felt that just doing what you absolutely must do, isn’t enough.’