Cardiff rabbi's surprise departure

Mystery surrounds the sudden departure of Cardiff Reform Synagogue minister, Rabbi Charles Middleburgh, who has served the community on a part-time basis for 10 years.

CRS chair Mel Odey declined to comment on “the recent resignation”, saying it would be “both inappropriate and premature for any statement to be made before the scheduled meeting of the synagogue members”.

The move has come as a surprise to congregants, who were scheduled to meet on Thursday, given that the Leo Baeck College senior lecturer had relocated to South Wales last summer with his wife Gilly. He has said that the move to Wales was “largely as a result of our experience with the congregation. This is the nicest community I’ve ever served. I feel very comfortable and at home here. I do think the community will get smaller, but I am very committed to it.”

Barbara Michaels, an active CRS member who edits the local Jewish journal, Bimah, said: “Rabbi Middleburgh is respected and admired by a great majority of the congregation. We are very perturbed that this has happened without consultation from us. He’s great with the younger people and we’re very sorry to see him go.”

Back teaching at Leo Baeck, Rabbi Middleburgh would say only that he had “ceased to be the rabbi to Cardiff Reform Synagogue last week”.

    Last updated: 11:18am, March 17 2014