Pulpit crisis is solved by members

By Jay Grenby, October 17, 2008

Kingston United Synagogue congregants came to the rescue after the shul faced a Yom Kippur ministerial crisis.

The shul needed to fill the gap between the departure of Rabbi David Mason for the Muswell Hill pulpit at the end of August and the arrival of his successor, Rabbi Michael Rosenfield, in time for Succot.

With this in mind, the Kingston board had arranged a stand-in from Israel for Rosh Hashanah and Yom

Moshe Freedman - a great-nephew of the late Rev Leslie Hardman - was a popular choice, having grown up in Kingston where he had regularly led services. He has been studying for semichah in Jerusalem.

Rosh Hashanah went well, but Mr Freedman had begun to lose his voice by Yom Kippur. "He gallantly endeavoured to lead the Kol Nidre service, becoming hoarser and hoarser as the evening wore on, but by the time the morning service was due to begin, he was unable to daven at all," a Kingston spokesperson said.

"Fortunately, a number of members came to the community's rescue, and between them, managed to learn both the services and the lehning at extremely short notice."

Warden Alan Lyons paid tribute to Adam Nakar, Joshua Freedman and Samuel Green for helping to fill the breach.

Last updated: 4:25pm, October 16 2008