Edgware and Elstree shuls reap share dividends from rabbinical appointment

Masorti communities vote overwhelmingly to have 'dynamic and inspiring' Rabbi Danny Newman in joint leadership role


A shared appointment which will see Rabbi Danny Newman split his time between the Edgware and Elstree and Borehamwood Masorti communities has been overwhelmingly approved by members at virtual general meetings.

Rabbi Newman has been assisting the two congregations on a part-time basis during the pandemic and Edgware Masorti co-chair Sarah Nathan said he had proved “a dynamic and inspiring spiritual leader”, skilled in education and pastoral care.

Elstree co-chair Peter Lurie looked forward to “working, building and growing together” under the new arrangement.

The minister was raised in Edgware and Stanmore, took Jewish studies at Oxford University and attended a number of Israeli yeshivot.

Prior to his rabbinic studies, he trained in psychotherapy and worked as a corporate lawyer in the City of London. He is also the founder of HaMakom, a charity for Jewish mindfulness and meditation. He is married with a young son.

Rabbi Newman said the pandemic had afforded him the opportunity “to connect meaningfully with a wide swathe of members of both communities through online services, study sessions and shivahs. Our group Zoom sessions enabled a mutually beneficial exchange of experiences and views.

“The challenge for me is to build on that experience. Although there is no substitute for physical meetings, particularly for services and pastoral care, we must look to a future where we will continue to employ technology alongside traditional practice in order to reach everyone.”

Founded in 1984, Edgware Masorti has grown to a community of 350 members. Elstree and Borehamwood Masorti was established in 2006 and now has around 160 members with a high proportion of young families.


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