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Nottingham makes rabbi redundant

The Orthodox synagogue in the Midlands city can no longer retain a full-time rabbi as numbers decline

    Nottingham Hebrew Congregation is making its rabbi redundant to save money as numbers decline.

    In a letter to congregants announcing his departure, Rabbi Moshe Perez said his last official day would be at the end of January next year.

    The Orthodox congregation, which has fewer than 200 members, moved into a smaller building earlier this year.

    At one point, it had considered joining the United Synagogue as other regional communities have done but the idea proved too divisive.

    Rabbi Perez wrote: “Unfortunately the NHC is fast declining sadly due to bereavements amongst our elderly membership, as well as an increasing number of members leaving the community for various reasons. 

    “As a result of this decline in membership the decision has been made, by the honorary officers and trustees, to make the position of a full-time rabbi redundant.”

    The news has come only days before the officers, the president Michael Samson, his wife Gail, who is treasurer and vice-president Richard Resnick are due to step down, having announced their resignation a couple of months ago.

    Rabbi Perez told congregants that until the end of January, he would “continue to provide the congregation with duties” for Shabbat services and festivals and would be on call for funerals, shivas and stone-settings.

    “From the end of January 2018 until the end of April 2018 the management will provide me with financial support, allowing me private time off work in order to arrange my future,” he said.

    The management had explained, he added, “in the future some halachic services may be required for the NHC and these will be contracted out. Subject to my availability I would be proud to offer my services and would look forward to doing so.”

    Rabbi Perez said he and his wife Iris would have “very happy memories” of their nearly 27 years in Nottingham.

    “I believe that once the redundancy has taken place, the NHC will financially go from strength to strength and the deficit should never again be an issue for the community,” he wrote

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