Dunner is off to LA for high school job
Saatchi Synagogue founding rabbi Pini Dunner is leaving the UK for a new educational career in the United States.
He has been appointed as the mashgiach ruchani - spiritual supervisor - for the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Los Angeles.
His brief will be to communicate "the warmth and spirituality of Judaism", which, he said, could be done in many ways. "It could be through Talmud study, one-to-one meetings, or Shabbatons."
After a spell as the presenter of Spectrum Radio's Jewish programme, Rabbi Dunner came to the Saatchi in Maida Vale in 1998.
An experimental congregation aimed at young adults, its mission was to show that Judaism could be "uplifiting and fun". It was famed for its upbeat services, lively Friday night dinners and celebrity speakers.
‘My talents are better suited to America’
In 2004, he left to go into the property business. But he has recently been moving back into the educational world, co-ordinating the yeshivah-style learning programme for 16-year-old boys at Hasmonean High and helping to create an online catalogue for the London School of Jewish Studies' library.
Rabbi Dunner, 40, said it was "a pity" to leave the UK. But he felt that "the outgoing nature of my style is not necessarily suited to England. My own particular set of talents is probably better suited to an American temperament."