Help for New Year services

By Jay Grenby, September 7, 2010

United Synagogue chiefs have recruited some experienced festival stand-ins for congregations with pulpit vacancies.

Following the departure of Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, Hampstead Garden Suburb services will be led by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, formerly at Stanmore and one-time HGS assistant minister.

Rabbi Cohen has been serving as consultant minister while the community searches for Rabbi Livingstone's replacement. He will be assisted by the congregation's community director, Rabbi Anthony Knop, and Aish's Rabbi Daniel Rowe.

Holding the fort at Radlett after Rabbi Ariel Abel's recent exit is congregant and director of the Office of Small Communities Elkan Levy, with the assistance of regular visiting lay reader Joel Sager.

At Belmont, the US has helped to bring over former Radlett rabbi Gideon Sylvester from Israel to fill the void created by Rabbi Daniel Roselaar's move to the Alei Tzion community in Hendon.

Also flying in from Israel are six young student rabbis as part of the US rabbinic intern scheme.

Community services director David Kaplan said the scheme was "principally designed to aid those communities which have a rabbi in place but have need for a second one to assist during the busy High Holy Day period".

They will take on tasks such as running youth services at Barnet, Clayhall, Hampstead, Mill Hill, Radlett and Woodside Park.

Although the student rabbis are not normally invited back, Mark Levine proved such a hit at Pinner that the congregation has made independent arrangements for him to return for the festival period.

Last updated: 10:17am, September 8 2010