North London shul appoints another American rabbi

Gabriel Botnick will succeed Stuart Altshuler at Belsize Square Synagogue


Belsize Square Synagogue has appointed another American minister to lead its 1,000-member congregation.

Rabbi Gabriel Botnick joined this month and will succeed Los Angeles-born Rabbi Stuart Altshuler, who leaves at the end of June after serving the North London shul for 10 years.

The 40-year-old said that “trading the views of the Pacific in Venice, California, for a great city like London to become only the fifth rabbi in Belsize Square’s 80-year history is a great honour.  

“I hope my passion and experience as a teacher and community organiser will help nurture the heritage of such a special congregation, while also developing innovative and engaging ways to keep our community relevant and meaningful.”

He is no stranger to the UK, having met his wife, Rabbi Rose Prevezer, at Limmud.

“To have my in-laws and so many family members around us is such a treat,” he added. “Our daughter Lev is enjoying spending time with her grandparents and with her two great-grandmothers.”

Founded by refugees fleeing Nazi tyranny, Belsize Square is an independent synagogue.

Its chair Jackie Alexander said Rabbi Botnick “made many friends during his visit to Belsize Square in February last year” She acknowledged the support that Rabbi Altshuler had provided during the ministerial search process, along with emeritus rabbi Rodney Mariner and chazan Paul Heller.


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