Farewell to Chief's aide

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

"She has become one of the best loved figures in Anglo-Jewry"

A large crowd gathered at St John’s Wood Synagogue for a farewell reception for Syma Weinberg, who retired this summer as executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s office after nearly 13 years.

The former Hasmonean Preparatory School deputy head and education consultant to Jewish Continuity is making aliyah with her husband Henry in December.

“It’s been a privilege to have been working in the community for 40 years,” Mrs Weinberg said.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks said she had become “one of the best loved figures in Anglo-Jewry by the care she gave everyone who interacted with our office and the strength she continually showed, whatever the pressures. She always projected the human face of Judaism and it was a privilege to work with her.”

Added Dr Simon Hochhauser, chairman of the Chief Rabbinate Trust and president of the United Synagogue: “Syma’s remarkable sense of the working of our community has been priceless for the Chief Rabbinate, the United Synagogue and the wider Jewish community. She has built remarkable relationships with other faith groups and with government.”

Mrs Weinberg was ranked 53 in the last JC Power List of British Jewry’s most influential figures.

Last updated: 2:24pm, September 24 2009