New Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has embarked on a busy programme of synagogue visits during his first weeks in office.
Four days after his installation, he spoke at Woodside Park United Synagogue, one of around 150 central Orthodox congregtions in the UK and the Commonwealth under his aegis — on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
The following day, he addressed one of the United Synagogue’s newest and youngest communities, Alei Zion, in Hendon, when he also spoke to the minyan of Jews from Gibraltar that meets on the same site.
By the end of the festivals later this month, he will have spoken to nine north-west London communities.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis, who does not intend to choose one specific synagogue as his particular seat, is still living in Finchley but is due to move into a new residence in Hendon shortly.
This week, he spoke at a conference of Union of Jewish Students activists and was due also to lecture on one of the key Yom Kippur prayers at the London School of Jewish Studies and to meet rabbinic interns — semichah students who help at US communities over the High Holy Days as part of their training.
Rabbi Mirvis’s subject at the UJS was leadership and he gave the students seven examples of figures in the Torah from Moses to Miriam, explaining what made them exemplary leaders.
According to UJS president, Joe Tarsh, the talk was “inspiring. Chief Rabbi Mirvis has enthused us for the coming year".