United Synagogue

Time for Jew in the pew to ask searching questions

By Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, August 11, 2011

When the election for president of the United Synagogue was under way, rumours were circulating that the contenders each had his own preferred candidate he would like to see "selected" as the next chief rabbi. The president would de facto become a member of the ambiguous group known as the Chief Rabbinate Trust and could then exert his influence to achieve his aims.

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Who will pick the new Chief Rabbi?

By Simon Rocker, August 11, 2011

If hacking were legal, then the BlackBerry of Stephen Pack, the United Synagogue's new president, would be a prime target for those wanting inside knowledge of Anglo-Jewish affairs.

It is he who now must lead the search to find the next chief rabbi after Lord Sacks retires in September 2013 - and even though the post has not yet been advertised, the inquiries are coming in.

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Reform reject chance to choose Chief Rabbi

By Simon Rocker, August 11, 2011

The man heading the search for the next chief rabbi wants to give the non-Orthodox community a say in the appointment, in a bold gesture intended to secure communal consensus over the position.

Stephen Pack, the new president of the United Synagogue, says he would like to offer religious groups both to the right and left of central Orthodoxy a role in choosing Lord Sacks's successor.

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Radlett builds up

July 21, 2011

Plans for the £1.65 million rebuilding and refurbishment of Radlett United Synagogue have been submitted to Hertsmere Borough Council, marking the start of a five-week consultation with neighbours and other interested parties.

The submission follows approval of the scheme by shul officers and members.

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Full time for St Albans

By Jay Grenby, July 14, 2011

St Albans Synagogue is to become a full member of the United Synagogue, congregants having overwhelmingly supported an EGM motion to switch from affiliated to constituent status.

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Pack leader enjoys landslide win at US

By Simon Rocker, July 14, 2011

The new United Synagogue president is Stephen Pack, who scored a landslide victory over outgoing US vice-president Peter Zinkin in Monday's poll.

Mr Pack, 61, is president of Hadley Wood, a satellite of Cockosters and North Southgate Synagogue. He attributed his 124-42 vote victory to his emphasis on making the US more attractive to younger people.

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'Chief rabbi should be chosen by ballot'

By Jessica Elgot, July 14, 2011

Popular support is growing among United Synagogue members for the next chief rabbi to be elected, with a straw poll of members at a debate this week showing more than 90 per cent favour of a ballot.

And the role of women in central Orthodoxy will also be a crucial issue for Lord Sacks's successor.

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Rabbi settles out of court

April 21, 2011

The United Synagogue has reached a deal with the rabbi of Britain's largest Orthodox congregation who took the US to court to protect his job.

Rabbi Mendel Lew, senior rabbi of Stanmore and Canon's Park Synagogue since 2006, won an interim injunction last month to stop the US holding a review into his professional capability.

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Pesach aid rises as slump bites

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The United Synagogue is sending out more Pesach food and voucher parcels than it budgeted for because of economic conditions.

David Kaplan, US community services director, said 570 parcels were being distributed compared to the 400 it had originally allowed for.

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'Too unkempt': Shomer battles US beard police

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The United Synagogue is being sued for religious discrimination by a former kosher supervisor who, apparently, is claiming there were objections to his beard.

Jonathan Abrahams, 58, who lives in Stamford Hill, north London, was made redundant as a full-time shomer with the organisation's kashrut division over a year ago.

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