The Chief Rabbi's successor

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009
Shaul Robinson

Shaul Robinson

While the Chief Rabbi prepares to don his ermine next month, speculation is growing over who is likely to succeed him as mainstream Orthodoxy’s spiritual supremo.

The soon-to-be Lord Sacks of Aldgate is due to retire in three and half years on reaching 65. But whereas he was tipped for the top job long before he was chosen, seasoned rabbi-watchers are finding it hard this time to name a frontrunner.

Home-based pulpiteers that could be in the frame are Rabbis Naftali Brawer of Borehamwood and Harvey Belovski of Golders Green, while Mill Hill’s media-savvy Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet may have his backers.

Another potential candidate is former Barnet Synagogue minister Shaul Robinson, who landed a prime post at one of New York’s best-known congregations, Lincoln Square, four years ago.

Also being talked about is Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier, who did a tour of duty in Hong Kong (which as a former Commonwealth colony, falls within the province of the Chief Rabbinate). He now leads New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, whose members reportedly lost $2 billion at the hands of King of Swindle, Bernie Madoff.

Last updated: 9:52am, September 24 2009