Former Cardiff United Synagogue rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg has led the tributes to the shul caretaker, whose death in a blaze last Friday is the subject of a murder charge.
David Evans, 64, died in his bungalow in the village of Pentyrch, on the outskirts of the city. Bleddyn King, 18, from Abercynon, has been charged with the murder of Mr Evans. He appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody.
Rabbi Wollenberg - who served Cardiff for eight years before joining Liverpool's Childwall congregation in June - recalled Mr Evans as "a wonderful character. He was a much-loved figure in the community.
"David was very devoted to the community and very respectful of Judaism. He enjoyed being part of the community and had a very close working relationship with a lot of people in the shul."
The widower had been employed as caretaker by the congregation for around three years.
A minute's silence was held in his memory during the Shabbat morning service.