Woman rabbi for Masorti?

New North London Synagogue could appoint Masorti's first woman rabbi as it is inviting applications from both sexes for the post of assistant minister.

The Finchley shul aims to have the new recruit in place before the High Holy-Days. He or she will work with teens and young adults - who make up 30 per cent of the 2,750 members - and will share pastoral duties with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg.

"We are a pluralist community and just want the best person, be it man or woman," Rabbi Wittenberg said. "We have female rabbis who are members of the congregation and an egalitarian service where women leyn."

The issue was raised at an open meeting to discuss the appointment process. "The question of gender was not commented on in a negative way," Rabbi Wittenberg reported.

Search committee chair David Halpern added: "We've put out the word in Israel, North and South America and Europe." With "a universally respected senior rabbi and, in a year's time, a brand new building, we're confident we will attract excellent candidates".

    Last updated: 5:59pm, February 18 2010