Woodside Park picks its new minister

October 30, 2008

Woodside Park Synagogue has appointed a new full-time rabbi, almost a year after the controversial departure of its previous minister split the community.

The JC reported last month that Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch was discussing terms with the shul's management board. Following a successful trial weekend, he received the overwhelming support of members at an EGM last week and is expected to take up his new role before the end of the year.
Rabbi Hackenbroch, who has been minister at Glasgow's Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation for the past five years, said: "I am delighted with the appointment. My wife and I are both looking forward to working with such a vibrant community.

"We have enjoyed our time with the Newton Mearns community, who we are sorry to leave, but will head south with great joy and anticipation."

His appointment brings to an end an acrimonious saga started by the departure of Rabbi Hershel Rader. He left after being offered an undisclosed sum, thought to be around £100,000, to resign. More than 500 congregants signed a petition calling for his reinstatement and the then synagogue officers were voted out by members.

Rabbi Rader now has a temporary contract with Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation.

Rabbi Hackenbroch, who has a law degree, attained his rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem. He is married to Gila and they have five children. The family will move to London in mid-November.

Synagogue chairman Gary Simon said: "We are delighted that Rabbi Hackenbroch and Gila will be joining the community. They have a wonderful track record built on their warmth, spirituality and enthusiasm."

    Last updated: 2:05pm, October 30 2008