Officers to quit troubled Orthodox synagogue

Calls have been made for an emergency meeting at Nottingham Hebrew Congregation


The officers of Nottingham Hebrew Congregation are to resign amid uncertainty over the future direction of the declining Orthodox community.

In a brief message last Friday, members were informed that the president and vice-president, Michael and Gail Samson, and treasurer Richard Resnick would step down at the end of October — less than halfway through their current term of office. No explanation was given for their decision and there has been no response from the synagogue office to calls from the JC.

A member of the congregation, who wished to remain anonymous, said there had been calls for an emergency meeting, particularly to discuss the future of Rabbi Moshe Perez, who has served the shul for 26 years.

An anonymous circular distributed ahead of June’s annual meeting claimed that the role of rabbi at the community had been made redundant.

“We want to know what’s happening with the rabbi,” the congregant said this week. “Nobody knows. People have legitimate concerns.”

Rabbi Perez was unavailable for comment.

A vote on proposals to change the constitutional status of the community, which was to have been held after the AGM, has been delayed.

The congregation, which has fewer than 200 members, sold its Victorian building and moved into smaller premises earlier this year.

While it has assets of around £1.5 million, its running costs exceeded income last year by around £57,000.

“There are some who believe we will run out of members before money,” the Nottingham congregant reported. “Others disagree and believe we will run out of money before members.”

A plan to follow other regional synagogues and join the United Synagogue was shelved two years ago because of divisions within the community.

According to the minutes of the annual meeting last year, Shabbat services are attended by 30 to 35 people “at the most”.

At that meeting, one of the trustees, Jeff Davis, was reported as saying: “I must stress that whatever the future holds, I sincerely hope that Rabbi and Mrs Perez will be part of it and help us to achieve our goals.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive