Chief Rabbi celebrates Scottish congregations

Lord Sacks with Rabbi Danny Bergson

Lord Sacks with Rabbi Danny Bergson

Lord Sacks was in Glasgow at the weekend for a double celebration - the 75th anniversary of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue and the induction of Rabbi Danny Bergson at Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation.

At Giffnock, the Chief Rabbi spoke on how declining communities could embrace the future positively, emphasising the importance of maintaining Orthodox practice.

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy was among political and religious representatives at the induction ceremony at nearby Newton Mearns, hailed by Lord Sacks as "one of my favourite congregations in the country. A truly great community with outstanding community spirit."

He added that all Glasgow rabbis were great singers and with the
addition of Rabbi Bergson, a trained musician, they could grace Britain's Got Talent.

He told Rabbi Bergson: "They [the community] are lucky to have you, and you are lucky to serve them."

The minister pledged: "I will lead this community with truth, sincerity, love and devotion." He led the service, assisted by six members of the Glasgow Male Voice Choir in matching tartan kipot.

Originally from Manchester, Rabbi Bergson arrived in Newton Mearns with his wife Anna and children early in 2009.

He has introduced innovative educational programmes, revitalised children's services on Shabbat mornings and is hoping to launch a cheder.

"To say he's enthusiastic is an understatement," said chairman Paul Shafer. "Rabbi Danny, I'm running fast trying to keep up with you."

    Last updated: 3:11pm, March 11 2010