Chief Rabbi Mirvis's reforming zeal

November 29, 2013

So much for the Chief Rabbi as merely a figurehead! He has not even been in office for three months but already Rabbi Mirvis has made his mark with reforming zeal.

After the extreme reaction from some to his decision to attend next month’s Limmud, a lesser man than Rabbi Mirvis might have thought it best to sit on any further reforms until further notice. But his decision to allow women to become trustees of the United Synagogue is of far greater significance even than his attendance at Limmud.

For years the US has talked a good game about increasing the role of women but has failed to follow through with real action. Now it seems the US is embracing change under the leadership of a chief rabbi who is delivering on his inauguration promise to work towards “real unity” – unity between different branches of Judaism and within his own Orthodox community.

Rabbi Mirvis’s personal warmth is matched by his actions. But it is clear that beneath both lies a determination to effect change. It has been a flawless start.

Last updated: 11:00am, November 29 2013