London Beth Din names its new dayan

Manchester-born Dayan Dovid Shlomo Englander, who has been serving on rabbinic courts, is an 'outstanding' appointment, the Chief Rabbi says


After a pandemic-delayed recruitment campaign of more than a year, the London Beth Din has finally made the long-awaited appointment of a new dayan.

Manchester-born Dayan Dovid Shlomo Englander, who currently serves on two rabbinical courts in the United States, will take up the position immediately. 

He replaces Dayan Yonason Abraham, who left the Beth Din suddenly in March 2019 in what Chief Ephraim Mirvis called a “shameful episode”. 

The United Synagogue said that Dayan Englander, who studied for the dayanut in Israel, had built up a reputation for applying Jewish law in a way relevant to modern life and demonstrated his flair for transmitting Torah with weekly articles explaining Beth Din cases to a lay readership. 

The author of a three-volume work on Jewish monetary law,  he is renowned for his expertise in the subject and currently serves as a dayan on the Beis Havaad In Lakewood and Kollel Harabbonim in Monsey, NewYork – two areas regarded as strongholds of Torah life in North America.

He has spent most of his life in the USA and Canada. 

The Chief Rabbi hailed “a truly outstanding appointment. Dayan Englander commands the requisite global expertise in halachah, which is necessary for him to serve as a first-rate dayan and also has the depth of wisdom and sensitivity which are required for him to be a leading voice of Torah for the British Jewish community as a dayan of the London Beth Din.”  

Dayan Gelley , the LBD’s  Rosh Beth Din, was delighted at Dayan Englander’s arrival. “He comes as an experienced dayan of high repute with a particular expertise in civil arbitration,” he said.  “Dayan Englander is learned, compassionate and has a broad understanding of Jews from varying backgrounds.” 

Dayan Englander said he was “humbled by the opportunity to serve as a dayan on the London Beth Din, an institution that plays such a critical role in the British Jewish community. 

“The London Beth Din is unrivalled diaspora-wide in its rich history, collective experience, breadth of influence and international prestige. I view this as a Heaven-sent opportunity to serve the Jewish community and I welcome the challenge and the opportunity to observe and serve alongside senior and experienced dayanim.” 

 He looked forward to “learning more about the people and communities who utilise the Beth Din’s services, in order to best serve their halachic needs.”  

Michael Goldstein, president of the United Synagogue, welcomed “an outstanding scholar who will complement the London Beth Din’s superb dayanim.  

“He is erudite and principled and, as so many people attested to during the interview process, he is also a mensch. We are delighted to have attracted someone of the highest calibre following an exhaustive search around the world.” 

He will bring the number of dayanim at the LBD to four. The US said due to growing demand, it is looking to appoint another dayan next year. 

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