Belmont rabbi moves to smaller Hendon synagogue

Rabbi Daniel Roselaar is leaving the 600-family Belmont Synagogue to take up a part-time position with the 200-strong Alei Tzion congregation in Hendon.

Alei Tzion members approved the appointment at an EGM on Sunday after Rabbi Roselaar and his wife Na'amah met the community over Shabbat, with the rabbi giving an address during the morning service.

"Delight" at the appointment was expressed by Nathan Woodward, co-chair of Alei Tzion, which is based at the London School of Jewish Studies and describes itself as a "vibrant modern Orthodox Zionist kehillah.

The congregation has been seeking a replacement for Rabbi Avi Scharf, who left in July when the role became part-time after the LSJS and Immanuel College withdrew financial support.

Rabbi Roselaar, who is completing an MA in Jewish education and halachah, said he had "learnt a lot from the Belmont community over the past 13 years.

"I am now excited about the next stage of my career and the opportunity to lead this developing community."

Belmont chair Anthony Broza recognised Rabbi Roselaar's "huge contribution to our community. He will be sorely missed."

A Belmont source believed that the rabbi wanted a new challenge. At Belmont, he had "helped people to become more religious, which is borne out by the fact that quite a lot of youngsters now go to seminaries and yeshivahs.

"His successor will inherit a community that faces a challenge to attract young families and compete with, for example, Borehamwood and Elstree."

    Last updated: 12:36pm, March 25 2010