United Synagogue

How Brondesbury revived its fortunes

By Marcus Dysch, July 19, 2012

When Baruch Levin arrived at Brondesbury Park Synagogue, the young rabbi found a community mired in apparently terminal decline.

Shabbat services attracted less than 30 people, none under the age of 60. The community had downsized, selling its old, decrepit shul and moving into the hall next door as a step towards “winding down”.


Plea to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks: don't leave

By Jennifer Lipman, June 11, 2012

Fans of the current chief rabbi have mounted a bid to keep him in the post after his official retirement.

Lord Sacks announced two years ago that he would be stepping down in September 2013, after a total of 22 years at the helm of the United Hebrew Congregations.

But with his successor yet to be named, supporters are hoping he will reconsider.


UK Jews hatched, matched, despatched… and frummer

By Simon Rocker, April 4, 2012

At least two out of every five Jewish babies in the UK are born to strictly Orthodox parents - the highest proportion ever cited in official Board of Deputies statistics.

Charedi children "now comprise 40 per cent or more" of all Jewish births, compared with a third when calculated in the last Board survey published four years ago.


Chief Rabbi pushed to rule on same-sex marriage

March 22, 2012

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has been urged to take a stand against government plans to introduce marriage for same-sex couples.

Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, head of the Federation Beth Din, said: "It is his obligation as chief rabbi to speak out."


Race to succeed Lord Sacks in 2013 hots up

By Simon Rocker, March 22, 2012

The United Synagogue president, Stephen Pack, has said that applications to be chief rabbi were still being accepted despite the March 5 deadline specified in an advertisement for the job.

Mr Pack, who is chairman of the Chief Rabbinate Trust, which is responsible for appointing Lord Sacks's successor, said it had received some "outstanding" applications, but added: "We are still expecting a nu


United Synagogue 'don't want Chabad'

By Simon Rocker, March 15, 2012

One of the United Synagogue's most high-profile rabbis, Yitzchak Schochet, says he has not applied to be chief rabbi, claiming that the US would not accept a Lubavitch candidate.

The Mill Hill Synagogue minister, in an article in today's JC, doubted whether he would even have got his present job today because of his Lubavitch background.

Rabbi Schochet questioned whether Chief Rabbi Lord Sac


Minyanim are a staple of future Southgate plans

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

Leaders of Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue are consulting members over a redevelopment plan for one of the United Synagogue's most geographically spread-out areas.

A strategic report calls for a "completely new premises model" for the future with a community centre and a network of local minyanim which could also accommodate members of Palmers Green and Southgate Synagogue.

The pla


Overseas recruiting

February 23, 2012

The United Synagogue is spreading its search for rabbinic talent to America and Israel.

Community liaison manager David Collins and Golders Green Synagogue's Rabbi Harvey Belovski met prospective rabbinic graduates at a job fair at New York's Yeshiva University.

And it hosted a Jerusalem meeting in partnership with JFS for potential recruits to both organisations.

Mr Collins said: "It is


Women try leading questions

February 16, 2012

The role of women in the United Synagogue and the wider Jewish community was discussed at the US's first women's conference, held on Sunday in central London.

More than 50 women participated in a programme geared towards improving leadership skills and knowledge. Topics included achieving a work-life balance, making one's voice heard and changing the face of education for women.


US closes gap with affiliates in row over distance clause

By Jay Grenby, January 26, 2012

Progress has been made towards resolving a long-running dispute between the United Synagogue and its affiliated congregations over recruitment rules.