United Synagogue

US chief mulled move to block Yachad at Board

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2014

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack considered warning members of the Board of Deputies to vote against the admission of the campaign group Yachad, over its "unacceptable activities", it has been revealed.

In an email seen by the JC, Mr Pack said he had been pressed to write to representatives of US congregations on the Board to oppose Yachad's application.

But he told the JC on Wednesda


Laura joins United Synagogue

November 6, 2014

Board of Deputies senior vice-president, Laura Marks, who represents the Movement for Reform Judaism, has joined the United Synagogue.

Ms Marks, who has become an associate member of Highgate Synagogue while retaining links with the Reform Alyth, said, "Lots of people are members of more than one synagogue.


'Don't shut out those with qualms on Gaza'

By Simon Rocker, September 23, 2014

A senior United Synagogue rabbi said this week that the community should not shut out Jews who had qualms about Israeli actions in Gaza.

Hampstead Synagogue's Rabbi Michael Harris, speaking at a conference on modern Orthodoxy in London, said that he had felt "uneasy throughout the past summer that the community's official bodies were making no room for people who had moral qualms about some of


US says Board seen to 'lack leadership'

By Simon Rocker, September 11, 2014

Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman was under fresh pressure this week after the United Synagogue issued a letter commenting on the Board's "perceived lack of effective leadership".

But US president Stephen Pack made clear on Wednesday that it did not support moves to oust him from office.


A woman's charitable drive to bank time

By Sandy Rashty, August 29, 2014

Pass a Morrisons or Sainsbury’s supermarket in Harrow and you might spot Leonie Lewis shaking a donation tin outside.

For years, she has braved British weather collecting for a charity which supports people with learning disabilities.

Lewis, the director of the Jewish Volunteering Network, and a senior collector for Mencap, has always led by example.


Shimon Cohen, the Sultan of Spin

By Sandy Rashty, August 15, 2014

Shimon Cohen describes himself as a “spin-consultant”.

Along with his 18-strong team, Cohen is trusted to manage the scandals and promote the work of 70 groups — including communal organisations from the United Synagogue to the Holocaust Educational Trust and Aish UK.


The steady head at the helm of the United Synagogue

By Simon Rocker, August 8, 2014

No communal leader manages to appear as unruffled as Stephen Pack, the president of the United Synagogue. His calm and affable presence will remain at the helm of British Jewry’s largest religious organisation for a further three years, after his unopposed election for a second term last month.


Chief Rabbi Mirvis: assisted dying Bill is 'dangerous'

By Sandy Rashty, July 18, 2014

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has condemned a Bill which would allow doctors to end the lives of terminally ill patients.

The Assisted Dying Bill, which was due to be debated in the House of Lords today, would permit lethal drugs to be administered to people with less than six months to live.


United Synagogue makes history as four women voted to top table

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2014

It may not have been as revolutionary as the Church of England at last approving women bishops.

But the United Synagogue, Britain’s largest Orthodox synagogue grouping, took a historic step last night by voting women on to its executive for the first time.


Pack stays US leader

By Simon Rocker, June 19, 2014

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack is set for a second three-year term of office after being unopposed in next month's election.

Mr Pack, 64, a member of Hadley Wood Synagogue, said the US had "a new chief rabbi, a new chief executive and we're going to have a new strategic plan.