'No confidence' call on Shenley minister

By Jessica Elgot, November 3, 2011
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Shenley Synagogue members are proposing a vote of no confidence in Rabbi Natan Levy, who returned to the Hertfordshire congregation after contemplating aliyah.

American-born Rabbi Levy left Shenley by mutual consent last year after 18 months in the pulpit, accepting that the parties were "not a good fit".

He rejoined the congregation this summer but has had to stop work while the United Synagogue tries to secure him a new work permit.

It is believed the unhappy Shenley congregants will attract the 10 per cent of support from membership required for an EGM, at which the no confidence vote would be tabled.

Any decision on replacing a minister ultimately lies with the US, but it would be likely to accept the wishes of the congregation if the motion is passed.

A US spokesman said: "It would be wrong to speculate about an EGM at Shenley before a meeting has even been called. But clearly the United Synagogue's ultimate responsibility is to its members.

"The US is mindful of the exceptional work that Rabbi Levy has done, not just in Shenley but also as chaplain at Bristol University and at the London School of Jewish Studies." The rabbi was unavailable for comment.

Last updated: 3:07pm, November 3 2011