Belmont synagogue's new rabbi says it's 'a match made in heaven'

Rabbi Sam Millunchick's appointment was overwhelming approved by members after a Shabbat visiit


Rabbi Sam Millunchick and his wife Leat are Belmont United Synagogue’s new ministerial couple, filling the void left by the imminent move of Rabbi Marc and Lisa Levene to Hampstead Garden Suburb United.

Although Rabbi Millunchick is Chicago-born and Israel-based, he worked in a number of roles in the London area before making aliyah.

He was youth director at South Hampstead Synagogue, an informal educator at Hasmonean High School and head of informal Jewish education at Immanuel College.

He is currently a rabbinic fellow at the Eretz Hemdah Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, working towards an advanced semichah (rabbinic ordination). He previously served as a combat medic in the IDF.

Mrs Millunchick has also worked in informal education, is a graduate of the Susi Bradfield leadership course at the London School of Jewish Studies and holds a BA in criminology and sociology. The couple have five children.

The Millunchicks spent last Shabbat at Belmont, where their appointment was approved by an overwhelming majority of voters among the 900-member Stanmore area community.

They described the congregation as “warm and caring, which was exactly what we were looking for in a rabbinic post. It feels to us like a match made in heaven.

“On our Shabbat visit, we formed so many relationships that we’ll miss over the next few months as we tie things up in Israel.

“Belmont is in a wonderful position to continue to go from strength to strength with an eruv, reasonably priced housing and vibrant Jewish life on its doorstep.

“We hope that Belmont can lead the way in presenting an attractive and committed vision of Jewish life in the modern world, matched with unparalleled inclusivity. Over and above anything else, our main goal is to care for every member of Belmont shul on a personal level, serving and helping them in any way we can.”

Belmont chair Barbara Mazliah said the Millunchicks’ “commitment, enthusiasm and care will complement perfectly the spirit of Belmont and we look forward to their spiritual leadership and guidance in the years to come”.

The couple are expected to start their Belmont duties at the end of August.

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