Finchley Synagogue members are set to vote on the nomination of one of Australia’s most prominent ministers as their next senior rabbi.
London-born Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, the long-time chief minister of Sydney’s Great Synagogue, is the unanimous recommendation of the shul — more commonly known as Kinloss — selection committee set up following the appointment of its former minister Ephraim Mirvis as Chief Rabbi.
“Our community needs a senior rabbi who has the capability to lead and be part of our community,” wrote shul chair Jon Mendelsohn in a letter to members. “The selection committee has found someone who can do this and I ask you to support the appointment of Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.”
The father of four, a registrar on the Sydney Beth Din who himself was among those thought to be among the early contenders for British chief rabbi, will join the US community on January 18 before members vote the following day, with 75 per cent of ballots cast needing to support the appointment for it to be confirmed.
Rabbi Lawrence said he was “looking forward to meeting the Kinloss community formally in a couple of weeks”.
David Kaplan, director of community services at the US, said that he expected a strong turn-out of voters from the 1,100 shul membership. The Kinloss rabbinic team is currently made up of assistant rabbis Leibish Heller and Michael Laitner and Kollel head Rabbi Daniel Roselaar.
The Oxford-educated Rabbi Lawrence was research assistant to Lord Sacks for his 1990 Reith Lectures. He was executive director of the Association of Jewish Sixth-Formers and deputy head of Jewish studies at Carmel College.
The proposed appointment was forecast in the JC’s Diary last month.