Tributes were led by the Chief Rabbi as the Radlett United congregation said a fond farewell to acting minister and longstanding member Elkan Levy.
Lord and Lady Sacks, the community's guests for Shabbat, were among the 220 people who feted Netanya bound Mr Levy and his wife Celia at a Friday night dinner.
In an affectionate speech, the Chief hailed Mr Levy's communal contribution, notably as a former US president and director of the Office of Small Communities.
He responded by stressing his love of the Radlett community - from the time he signed the contract to purchase the shul to delivering the sermon at its first Shabbat through to serving as its acting minister for the better part of a year. He also expressed the couple's appreciation of the community's farewell gift, a special appeal for Magen David Adom, which has already topped £1,000. Lord Sacks paid further tribute to Mr Levy during his Shabbat sermon the following day.
Shul chair Andy Katz "appreciated Lord Sacks' observations about the tremendous energy and enthusiasm permeating our community and noting the strong fit between this and the imminent arrival of our newly-appointed ministerial couple, Rabbi Leo Dee and Rebbetzen Lucy Dee."