Chief Rabbi launches new shul in Hendon


A new United Synagogue congregation is to be launched by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in Hendon, north-west London, in a fortnight.

Magen Avot, which will hold services at the Hendon Hall Hotel until it finds a permanent home, has been founded mainly by ex-members of North Hendon Synagogue.

Founder member Yoni Weisz said he was "thrilled" at the prospect. "We would like to invite all those interested in the new community to come and join us," he said.

Its inaugural Shabbat will have a full range of Shabbat services. The Chief Rabbi himself will guide the fledgling congregation until it can employ a rabbi.

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack said that it was "excited to be working together with Magen Avot to help build this new community. We believe that the values of Magen Avot fit in perfectly with those of the US."

Mr Weisz, who is 36, said that he had previously had an association with Finchley Synagogue - Rabbi Mirvis's congregation before he became Chief Rabbi - and other founder members had US backgrounds also.

Earlier this year, he and a number of other then board members of North Hendon resigned over the direction of the shul, which two years ago left the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

Magen Avot will strengthen the US's profile among the more observant sections of the community. The US is also engaged in talks with other independent congregations in the area.

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