United Synagogue

Suprise lunch to honour Mary Chambers

October 3, 2008

The United Synagogue administrators' group organised a surprise lunch at their quarterly meeting at Stanmore Synagogue to honour Mary Chambers, who is celebrating 30 years in the post at Bushey.

She was presented with a bouquet on behalf of her fellow administrators by Clayhall Synagogue's Michelle Mervish before the arrival of a Bushey delegation, including minister Rabbi Meir Salasnik, for the lunch.


£2m plan for cemeteries

By Leon Symons, September 26, 2008

The United Synagogue is to spend almost £2 million to ensure that its two main cemeteries maintain operations well into the second half of this century.

But US head of burials Melvyn Hartog is confident that the commitment will not herald an increase in burial fees.

"We run a very tight ship," he told the JC this week. "Nothing is wasted and every penny we spend is accounted for. I believe we will be able to absorb these costs without putting up the fees."


United Synagogue welcomes Non-Orthodox unity plan

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

The United Synagogue has welcomed last week's call by non-Orthodox leaders for greater partnership as "good news for the community".

In an article in today's JC, Simon Hochhauser, the president of the US, applauded the Statement on Communal Collaboration issued by the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements - but without revealing whether Britain's largest Orthodox body would also be signing it.


Rabbinical council gives green light to lay eulogies

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

New guidelines allowing lay people to speak at funerals are to be introduced by the United Synagogue "in the next few weeks", its president Simon Hochhauser said on Monday.

The relaxation of previous rules restricting eulogies to ministers was announced last month by the leaders of the US's Rabbinical Council (RCUS). But the rabbis were subsequently told by US head office to hold fire on the new policy, pending further consultations.


US reinstates eulogy ban

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

The United Synagogue has put on hold plans by its rabbis to allow relatives to give eulogies at funerals.
Only last month the head of the organisation's Rabbinical Council (RCUS) wrote to colleagues to say that they could relax the previous practice, objected to by many congregants, which permitted only members of the clergy to speak at the cemetery.


Father dies moments after seeing his daughter marry

By Candice Krieger, August 28, 2008

A leading communal figure died suddenly at his daughter's wedding on Monday evening.

Michael Rosen, 65, from Pinner, Middlesex, was celebrating the marriage of his daughter Lynne to Robert Dyan at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, when he collapsed from a suspected heart attack.
One guest said: "He seemed 100 per cent fine. Everything was normal and we were returning to our tables after the Israeli dancing when he collapsed. You could see it was serious because the rabbis started praying."


New US shul appoints minister

August 22, 2008

Rabbi Avi Scharf has been appointed minister of the United Synagogue's newest congregation, Hendon-based Alei Tzion.

Currently a senior rabbi at Ohr Torah Stone Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem, he will also be the rabbinic scholar in residence at the London School of Jewish Studies and head the kollel at Immanuel College, Bushey.


United Synagogue removes gag on relatives speaking at funerals

By Simon Rocker, August 14, 2008

The United Synagogue has relaxed one of its most controversial rules that restricted the delivery of funeral eulogies to rabbis or ministers.

A letter has gone out to rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogues recommending that lay people should be allowed to give a hesped (eulogy) on certain occasions at the discretion of the local rabbi.


Review for Rabbinate Trust

July 31, 2008
The United Synagogue is seeking to review the structure of the Chief Rabbinate Trust, the charitable body set up seven years ago to oversee the office of the Chief Rabbi. It superseded the Chief Rabbinate Council which was responsible for appointing new chief rabbis.


Re-established cheder holds first prize-giving in 15 years

July 31, 2008
Following the first year of Welwyn Garden City Synagogue's re-established cheder, the community held a prize-giving - the first at the United Synagogue-affiliated shul for almost 15 years. In front of parents and community members, the cheder's seven pupils each received a prize and a certificate. The cheder was re-launched under the aegis of Risa Gruber, a former teacher and the wife of the shul's new minister, Rabbi Hillel Gruber.