Rockin' rabbi gets in tune for Pinner

By Stephanie Brickman, June 30, 2011
On a high note: Rabbi Danny Bergson and his family are to head south

On a high note: Rabbi Danny Bergson and his family are to head south

Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation's singing and guitar-playing Rabbi Danny Bergson, affectionately known as "Rockin' Rabbi Danny", has been named as the new minister of Pinner Synagogue. His appointment comes just short of his third anniversary in Glasgow.

It has not yet been confirmed when Rabbi Bergson, 33, his wife Anna, 30, and their four children will head south, but the rabbi will stay to officiate at the High Holy-Day services.

Brian Fox, chair of Newton Mearns, said: "Our last rabbi, Pinchas Hackenbroch, went on to Woodside Park and now Rabbi Bergson is going to Pinner. You could say we train them up."

Rabbi Bergson said the family was leaving Glasgow "with mixed emotions. We are sad to be leaving our first community yet excited by the new challenge. We would like to thank all those people who have worked so hard with us to develop communal life."

At Pinner Synagogue the appointment was confirmed when members voted overwhelmingly in a post-Shabbat ballot after the couple spent last weekend with the community. Rabbi Bergson succeeds Rabbi Jacob Grunewald, who retired last October after serving for 34 years as the congregation's minister.

The Manchester-born rabbi has a degree in computer science, studied at yeshivah in Jerusalem and received semichah in 2003. A trained cantor, Rabbi Bergson says he uses his musical talents "not only as a hobby but to inspire the people I meet or work with". He is involved in two music projects: one as part of an interfaith band All Faith, and is about to complete his first album, a mix of rock, jazz and acoustic Jewish music.

His wife Anna grew up in Hale and has a qualification in fitness and nutrition. Before going to Glasgow the couple worked with students and young Jewish professionals in Manchester.

The Pinner community has more than 600 member families with over 200 children under the age of 16.

Pinner chair Howard Lewis said: "We believe that the Bergsons are a dynamic team and bring with them warmth, spirituality and enthusiasm."

Meanwhile, Rabbi Grunewald will continue to undertake pastoral duties in the community.

Last updated: 3:13pm, June 30 2011