Rabbi Roderick Young is quitting Finchley Reform Synagogue to focus on his writing. He is finishing a children’s book and is about to embark on the story of his family and how he discovered Judaism at the age of 23.
Rabbi Young became the congregation’s principal minister in November 2006. Since January, he has shared rabbinical duties with Rabbi Miriam Bayfield, an arrangement designed to give him more writing time.
However, in a letter to congregants, he explained that he needed “greater time and space in which to work”. He also wanted to be able to see more of his 87-year-old mother, who is in a care home in Dorset.
He wrote that he had been “really happy at FRS, which is a warm, welcoming, inclusive, dynamic community... Miriam Bayfield is the kind of dedicated, hands-on congregational rabbi that a great shul needs. It is her presence and love of this community that allows me to go.” He has asked to be relieved of his duties “as soon as is convenient”.
The synagogue council this week paid tribute to the rabbi “for the inspiration he has brought to the community, particularly in adult education”.