Elstree looks local for stop-gap
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Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue has moved swiftly to appoint an interim minister following the resignation announcement of Rabbi Naftali Brawer, who is to lead a foundation promoting spirituality at work.
In recruiting Rabbi Shimshon Silkin, they have not searched far, as he has been involved with the local community, running Seed educational programmes.
A partnership agreement between the United Synagogue and Seed will allow Rabbi Silkin to become full-time interim rabbi at BES from the beginning of September, immediately after Rabbi Brawer's departure.
After announcing the appointment in shul on Shabbat, BES chair Anthony Arnold informed the congregation by letter that "our decision to take this prompt action in appointing Rabbi Silkin is based primarily on the huge success that both he and his wife Sarah have been in our community.
"We look forward to his educational programmes continuing whilst providing the spiritual and pastoral leadership for the community during this interim period."
Rabbi Silkin will work alongside the community's associate minister, Rabbi Boruch Boudilovsky.
The rabbi and his wife currently run a wide array of educational activities, including the fortnightly "Siddur Satnav" sessions, home study groups, one-to-one learning and sessions for women run by Mrs Silkin such as "Baby and Bagels".
"We came to Borehamwood with the intention to engage and be an asset," Rabbi Silkin said. "With the community now looking for positive continuity, I have taken on the role of interim rabbi."