Londoner tipped to head Sephardi Jewry

By Simon Rocker, September 27, 2011
Rabbi Levy

Rabbi Levy

If you think it is impractical to elect the next Chief Rabbi, consider this; the religious leader of Britain's oldest Orthodox community, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, has to be elected by its members.

Rabbi Abraham Levy, 72, who has been spiritual head of the congregation since 1980, is shortly to retire. We can now name the man that its lay leaders have recommended as his successor: London-born Rabbi David Bassous.

Rabbi Bassous, a graduate of Hasmonean High School, gained a degree in engineering before receiving rabbinic ordination in Israel.

Since 1991, he has led Etz Ahaim, a Sephardic synagogue in New Jersey in the USA, and is the early childhood Judaic director of a yeshivah high school. He and his wife Clara have seven children.

Rabbi Bassous will be visiting in late November to spend a weekend with the congregation – after which the members will vote on whether to accept him.

Last updated: 2:14pm, September 27 2011