Like father, like son at Northwood shul

August 8, 2008

Son will replace father as the spiritual head of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue tomorrow when Rabbi Aaron Goldstein is inducted as senior minister.

As the 38-year-old rabbi takes charge, his father, Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, will become emeritus minister. At the same service, Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles will be inducted as assistant minister.

The new rabbi has assisted his father at Northwood since 2005. He is also the outgoing Liberal Judaism outreach officer and was on the judging panel for this year's JC Power 100. "I'm really proud of what my father has achieved at NPLS but I also need to make my own mark," he said.

"In past years, my mother has set up and run the synagogue's social care network, my sister leads the choir and runs a playgroup, while my brother-in-law has managed the security rota. As the congregation grows, we can no longer treat NPLS as the family business - and nor is it right that we should."

Rabbi Goldstein senior became the congregation's first rabbi in 1965 and masterminded the 1979 move to its current site. Under his guidance, it has grown into Britain's largest Liberal congregation, with 800 member families. "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and to see Aaron take over as our senior rabbi is a dream fulfilled," he said.

Andrew Goldstein will continue to play an active role in Progressive life, having signed up to lead monthly services in Bratislava.

Last updated: 12:35pm, July 8 2009