Members of Birmingham Central Synagogue and the wider local community gathered for a farewell tea for Rabbi Chanan Atlas, who is leaving the shul with his family after Pesach to take up the pulpit at Manchester's Yeshurun Synagogue.
Shul president Geoffrey Clements said that the minister had presided over a major transformation of the community in the past two years. "Rabbi Atlas is to be praised for his professionalism and guidance as the community left its 1960s' 700-seater building and moved into new multi-purpose facilities just before Rosh Hashanah last year."
Responding, Rabbi Atlas said he had been motivated by the passion and dedication he saw in the community volunteers. He added that Birmingham would always have a special place in the hearts of his family.He was presented with a shofar by Mr Clements.
Birmingham Central's search for a replacement is continuing. "Applications are still open and we have interviewed several candidates although no one has met the criteria yet," Mr Clements said. "After Pesach we will be having guest rabbis visiting us on a regular basis as an interim measure while we seek the right couple to take over this important provincial post."