United Synagogue

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.


Women stand by to stand

By Simon Rocker, June 12, 2014

The first elections for women trustees of the United Synagogue look set to be contested next month.

At least five women have indicated that they are planning to stand for the four positions available on its executive before nominations close on Monday.


New chief executive for United Synagogue

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2014

A former JFS pupil with a PhD in chemistry is to be the next chief executive of Britain’s largest synagogue body, the United Synagogue.

Dr Steven Wilson, who is the executive director of the International Council of Science, will take up the position after Rosh Hashanah in September.


Single life may be key to Nottingham’s survival

By Simon Rocker, May 15, 2014

The example of Oxford, where Orthodox and non-Orthodox groups share a single building, is being floated as the way ahead for a second regional community.

A proposal for a single Jewish centre to house Nottingham’s Orthodox and Liberal congregations has been aired at meetings in both synagogues over the past week.


My year as a synagogue chair

By Anne Gordon, May 9, 2014

In January 2013 the United Synagogue voted to allow women to become chairs of their synagogues. When the news was announced I knew that, after 25 years of communal involvement, I would stand.


Rabbis crush bid to give women a role in shul

By Simon Rocker, April 10, 2014

An innovative bid to give women greater involvement in United Synagogue services has been scrapped, after objections from the London Beth Din.

The move has prompted protests among congregants, with warnings that it will deepen alienation among women.


What women need to stay Orthodox

By Dina Brawer, April 4, 2014

On Sunday morning the Chief Rabbi was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Ed Stourton. During the interview Ed put my following question to Rabbi Mirvis, which I had submitted.

"What would you say to convince a Jewish woman who feels unwelcome and irrelevant in her Orthodox Jewish community that she should stick with Orthodoxy?"


Chief's trip cost queried

March 24, 2014

The cost of the Chief Rabbi's mission to Israel in spring was queried at a meeting of the United Synagogue council on Monday.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis plans to take around 50 rabbis with him in May for his first official visit to the country since taking office last autumn.

But US president Stephen Pack was pressed over whether the outlay was an "appropriate use" of charitable funds by one


US to vote in four women trustees

By Simon Rocker, March 24, 2014

The United Synagogue this week ushered in historic constitutional changes which will enable women to become trustees of the country's largest Orthodox body in the summer.

Under the new system,which has been approved by both Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the London Beth Din, the administration will retain a male majority led by a male president.

But the seven trustees, currently all male, wi