Britain's senior Sephardi rabbi Joseph Dweck starts work

By Marcus Dysch, July 4, 2014
Rabbi Joseph Dweck

Rabbi Joseph Dweck

Rabbi Joseph Dweck takes up his role as senior rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation today.

Since being elected to the position last year, Rabbi Dweck has been preparing to begin work in a full time capacity.

He will be joined in London by his wife, Margalit, and four of his five children.

Rabbi Dweck said: “Margalit and I are grateful to the entire community for their care in welcoming us and the children on our various visits throughout the last year, and for warmly receiving us on our permanent arrival.

“Margalit and I look forward to investing in, and building, the future together with the entire congregation.

“As we are now living here in London, I will be giving full time and attention to working with our ecclesiastical and lay leadership to develop the different programmes I have planned for the community.

“Although based near Lauderdale Road, I look forward to spending quality time at Bevis Marks and Wembley as well, and working together across the wider Jewish community.’

Jonathan Solomons, head of the congregation’s Mahamad governing body, said: “We have used the last few months to prepare a plan of action for the community going forwards, and are delighted that the time has now come to launch our revolution.

“An exciting future awaits for the congregation, and indeed British Jewry as a whole, given Rabbi Dweck’s desire to outreach across the community and beyond.”

Rabbi Dweck, of New York, was endorsed as the new rabbinic leader by a massive majority of 270 votes to four in a ballot of its members last year.

Born in Los Angeles to parents of Syrian roots, he saw his Sephardi congregation, Shaare Shalom, increase from a few dozen members to some 800 over the past 14 years.

Rabbi Dweck’s installation will take place in September at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in central London.

He replaces Rabbi Abraham Levy, who retired, as head of the Sephardi movement.

Last updated: 12:13pm, July 4 2014