United Synagogue

Time to right a grievous wrong

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 24, 2015

The news that the United Synagogue has sold the former official residence of its chief rabbi - 85 Hamilton Terrace, NW8 - for a sum reported to be not less than 10 million pounds is both good and not so good. The residence (through the hallowed portals of which I was privileged to pass on no less than four occasions) always struck me as overly pretentious.


'Poaching' row over Radlett's rabbi

By Simon Rocker, July 23, 2015

Richmond Synagogue has complained that the move of its rabbi to a larger United Synagogue after barely two years in the post undermined the "dynamics of a small community".

Rabbi Jonathan Hughes is to leave Richmond later this year to become the spiritual leader of the Radlett congregation in Hertfordshire.


Shaw thing for Mizrachi as it recruits US educator

July 2, 2015

United Synagogue educational leader and Stanmore Synagogue community development rabbi, Andrew Shaw, is leaving the US to become Mizrachi UK's CEO.

Rabbi Shaw founded Tribe, the US's youth arm, has been instrumental in Holocaust memorial projects, and is currently director of its education-focused living and learning department.

He sees his move to the religious Zionist organisation as a nat


Stephen Pack's Board comment was wrong, says former United Synagogue president

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2015

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack’s warning that Reform candidate Laura Marks would be a “divisive” choice as president of the Board of Deputies has been sharply criticised by his predecessor.

Simon Hochhauser, who chaired the US from 2005 to 2011, said Mr Pack’s intervention was “wrong in principle and as a tactic”.


£130 a minute: how much a wedding costs

By Josh Jackman, April 16, 2015

A typical kosher wedding for 200 guests now costs the hosts £55,000 - or £130 a minute - and significantly more if held at a top London hotel.


Young idea

April 2, 2015

The United Synagogue's new Young People and Young Families division has appointed David Collins as director.


Shul quits Board - 'it's not good value'

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

Leaders of Catford and Bromley Synagogue in south London have decided to leave the Board of Deputies on financial grounds.

Joe Burchell, chairman of the United Synagogue affiliate, said it would not send a deputy to the Board's next triennium because "we do not think it's good value".

It costs a synagogue such as Catford and Bromley £495 annually to send a deputy to the Board.


US urged to help synagogues deal with failing rabbis

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

The United Synagogue should make it easier for communities to dispense with under-performing rabbis, its council heard this week.

Stanmore Synagogue representative Saul Taylor said that while, in general, the US was served by a "very high quality rabbinate", it needed to do more to help ministers who were "not performing".

But where there was no improvement, it was "near impossible" for comm


Partnership minyans have their benefits

By Simon Griver, March 26, 2015

The United Synagogue should recognise the positive side of partnership minyans, a trustee of the organisation said this week.

Jacqui Zinkin argued that such services, even if not allowed on US premises, could help bring people into US shuls.

Over the past year and a half, partnership minyans - where women, as well as men, can read from the Torah and lead certain prayers - have sprung up in


United Synagogue attacks Federation meat operation as 'jeopardising shechita'

By Simon Rocker, March 13, 2015

The United Synagogue has hit out at the Federation of Synagogues’ new kosher meat operation, claiming that it could lead to price rises.

The Federation’s mehadrin meat range – aimed at strictly Orthodox consumers – went on sale in one London shop on Wednesday.