Mirvis is praised on his century

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014
The chief rabbi with Woodside Park Synagogue members

The chief rabbi with Woodside Park Synagogue members

United Synagogue president Steven Pack has complimented Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on an “amazing job” in his first 100 days of office.

In an article posted in the US’s online magazine, You and US, Mr Pack gave Rabbi Mirvis “10 out of 10”, saying he had “certainly delivered his objectives” in the opening months of his chief rabbinate.

“In this short time, he has demonstrated he is a man of great conviction and determination, with tremendous energy and charisma,” Mr Pack wrote. “He has shown deep qualities of leadership that mean he will stand up to challenges from all quarters to promote what he thinks is right.”

Mr Pack added that Rabbi Mirvis had made three “important decisions” in conjunction with the London Beth Din — to attend last month’s Limmud conference; to permit women to become United Synagogue trustees and to rule out partnership minyans (allowing women to take parts of an Orthodox service) within the US.

“None of these were of his choosing,” Mr Pack noted. “They were in his in-tray when he took office and on each he has shown decisive leadership.” Contrary to recent reports, it was “never a condition of the job for him to go to Limmud or to permit women trustees… These are his decisions, albeit taken after widely consulting with a variety of colleagues. As Dayan Gelley, the senior dayan of the London Beth Din, explained at the very first meeting of the selection process, there is no point in appointing a chief rabbi if he is told what to do.”

Rabbi Mirvis had also “forged personal relationships with royalty, leading politicians and other faith leaders” and “established himself as a champion of all UK Jews”.

He had shown that he was chief rabbi of “ all the communities of the United Hebrew Congregations — a much wider responsibility than just the United Synagogue”.

Last updated: 3:45pm, January 27 2014