Rabbi Atlas thinks the world of Birmingham

Central figures: Rabbi Chanan Atlas and his wife Nechama

Central figures: Rabbi Chanan Atlas and his wife Nechama

Birmingham Central Synagogue has appointed Rabbi Chanan Atlas as minister, filling the vacancy left by the departure of Shlomo Odze to become associate rabbi at South Hampstead Synagogue.

Central president Geoffrey Clements said the search for a spiritual leader was always challenging, "especially when trying to take into consideration the needs of a provincial community. Rabbi Atlas and his wife tick all the boxes for us. We look forward to them joining the community and to exciting times ahead."

Israeli-born Rabbi Atlas, 34, and his wife Nechama, 32, currently live in Nitzan, near Ashdod, with their four children. He directs a Jewish leadership programme and was, for three years, minister of Port Elizabeth Hebrew Congregation in South Africa. Mrs Atlas is a qualified teacher and educational guidance counsellor.

Rabbi Atlas had found the Birmingham congregation "vibrant, dynamic and optimistic. My family and I consider ourselves fortunate to become part of this community."

He and his wife worked as a team and "Nechama will be involved in all aspects of communal life".

Last updated: 1:18pm, February 9 2012