Second US Edgware shul will ‘destroy’ Yeshurun


A member of Edgware's Yeshurun Federation Synagogue has accused the United Synagogue of attempting to destroy it by starting a new congregation nearby.

Services are to begin at Ahavas Yisrael - "Love of Israel" - at the end of next month. It will operate from the Langdon College premises.

Longstanding Yeshurun member Richard Sandground contended that "they are trying to destroy the Yeshurun". He poured scorn on the argument that new people were moving into the locality, claiming that the high cost of housing was a deterrent.

"I have been going to Yeshurun for 30 years. I want to see the shul survive," he said. "The situation is now, will it survive?"

US president Stephen Pack has rebutted suggestions that the new venture was a breakaway from Yeshurun.

"This is something we should be doing at the United Synagogue regardless of any Yeshurun members," he told last week's US council meeting. "I have to say the vast majority of people who did come and see us [about starting the community] were actually United Synagogue members. They may sometimes daven in Yeshurun but they are United Synagogue members."

Ahavas Israel will be led by Dayan Elimelech Vanzetta, who worked as a banker and deputy press attaché at the Brazilian embassy in London before entering the rabbinate full-time. He has also been secretary general of the Conference of European Rabbis and head of Chile's Orthodox Beth Din.

Ahavas Yisrael is about 25 minutes' walk from Edgware United Synagogue, but only five minutes from Yeshurun.

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