Journey to becoming Britain’s chief rabbi

December 20, 2012
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This is South African-born Rabbi Mirvis’s second chief rabbinate. He was Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1985 to 1992 and, for three years before that, was minister of Dublin’s Adelaide Road Synagogue.

After leaving Cape Town as a young man, he attended a number of yeshivot in Israel and obtained his semicha (rabbinical qualification), Rabbi Mirvis married Zimbabwe-born Valerie Kaplan. Along the way he qualified as a shochet, mohel, and chazan.

In ireland, Rabbi Mirvis was chairman of governors of Stratford Jewish Schools, Dublin. In 1990, he received, on behalf of the school, the Jerusalem Prize for Education in the Diaspora from President Herzog at Beit Hanasi, Jerusalem.

Rabbi Mirvis was also president of the Irish Council of Christians and Jews (1985-1992).

After four years at Marble Arch, he joined Finchley Synagogue in May 1996. He has been in the Chief Rabbi’s Cabinet since 1996 and was chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue (1999 – 2002).

Rabbi Mirvis is the founder and director of Finchley Synagogue’s community education programme, the Kinloss Learning Centre (KLC), which has attracted hundreds of participants on a weekly basis since 2003.

He is the founder rabbi and honorary principal of Morasha Jewish Primary School (which will be renamed the Sacks Morasha School when it moves into new premises next year.)

He is also founder and president of the newly established Kinloss Community Kollel.

Last updated: 6:45pm, December 20 2012