Bevis Marks Rabbi resigns

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2009

The rabbi of Bevis Marks has resigned amid continuing tensions at Britain’s oldest synagogue.

Rabbi Nathan Asmoucha was suspended by leaders of the Spanish and Portugese Jews' Congregation nearly three months ago.

The rabbi, who came from Zimbabwe to the City of London synagogue two years ago, was due to face a disciplinary hearing following his participation in an interfaith demonstration against high bank interest rates, organised by the charity London Citizens.

The row began after Rabbi Asmoucha allowed the demonstration to leave from the synagogue apparently without “authority from or prior notification” from the community’s spiritual head Rabbi Abraham Levy or the Community Security Trust.

Some reports say that the congregation's executive, the mahamad, believed this to be a high security risk.

Other sources said that there was concern because of the City financial interests of the leaders of the congregation.

Many members of the congregation are said to be bitterly upset by Rabbi Asmoucha’s departure and intend to stage a vote of no confidence in the mahamad.

The congregation's chief executive Howard Miller confirmed Rabbi Asmoucha's departure.

Last updated: 2:39pm, October 22 2009