Radlett Synagogue has interim measures in place to fill the ministerial void left by the departure of Rabbi Leo Dee, who has returned to Israel with his wife, Lucy, and young family after just over three years in the post.
The couple were UK born and educated but had lived in Israel for a number of years before coming back in 2008, when Rabbi Dee was appointed assistant minister at Hendon Synagogue.Their departure date from Radlett was influenced by the educational needs of their children.
While the search for a successor progresses, former Radlett resident and United Synagogue president Elkan Levy will visit from Israel to help out with the High Holy-Day services.
A Friday night dinner attended by 270 people was among a number of farewell events for Rabbi Dee, who reflected: "Radlett is a community full of frummers, many of whom don't know it yet. We have been inspired by the tremendous love, warmth and desire to be involved across the whole community.
"Radlett will always hold a special place in our hearts."
Congregation chair Alex Pomerance hoped that the Dees would make a flying visit next year for the official opening of the new synagogue building, having been "so involved in the planning".
As for the rabbi's replacement, a number of applicants had been selected for interview. "We hope we can move forward quickly, although we are not anticipating that anyone will be in the post until Pesach at the earliest."