Gateshead Rav linked to vacancy for Federation Beth Din head

Speculation follows Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman's meeting with Federation leaders


The Gateshead Rav, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, is understood to have met leaders of the Federation of Synagogues in London on Sunday, fuelling speculation that he is being lined up to succeed Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein as head of its Beth Din.

In March, Dayan Lichtenstein announced he would be retiring within a year from the position he has held since 1988.

American-born Rabbi Zimmerman took up the post in the Tyneside yeshivah town in 2008 and is regarded as one of the most influential Charedi rabbis in the UK.

An email reportedly circulated by one of the lay committee that runs the Gateshead community warned  it faced a “crisis” if Rabbi Zimmerman opted to leave for the capital.

It called for improved salary and pension for him as well as more practical support in the form of a personal assistant.

Last year, Rabbi Zimmerman warned that state interference in religious education posed “possibly the most serious” issue for British Jews since their expulsion by Edward I in 1290.

In May, he led a fundraising campaign to raise an additional £2 million needed for a new mikveh in Gateshead.

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