Britain’s rabbinic world has been stunned by the unexpected resignation of one of the four dayanim of the London Beth Din, Dayan Yonason Abraham.
The London-born rabbi, who joined the Chief Rabbi’s court at the relatively young age of 37 in 2001, stepped down yesterday.
“It is very sudden,” said one senior London rabbi.
Rabbis under the Chief Rabbi’s authority were told only on Wednesday of his departure in a short email from the head of the London Beth Din, Dayan Menachem Gelley.
It gave no reason for Dayan Abraham's departure.
Dayan Gelley told them: “As you know, the London Beth Din exists to support you, your kehillos and your members and so I want to reassure you that preparations are already under way to ensure a high-calibre dayan is found to work alongside our other highly respected dayanim.”
Dayan Abraham commented: "It is with a sense of responsibility and sadness that I announce today that I will be stepping down from the London Beth Din. The Beth Din is a pillar of our community and it has been an absolute honour and privilege to serve as dayan over the past 17 years."
He said he had" immense hakoras hatov [gratitude] to the Chief Rabbi, Dayan Gelley, my colleague dayanim and the staff at the Beth Din and the United Synagogue. I am truly grateful for their friendship and support over so many years. I hope that the Beth Din will go from strength to strength as they continue their vital work."
Schooled at Hasmonean High, Dayan Abraham studied in yeshivot in Gateshead, Lakewood, New Jersey and Jerusalem before moving to a congregation in Australia, where he served for three years on the Melbourne Beth Din.
A popular speaker both here and abroad, Dayan Abraham has also led an independent synagogue in Hendon, Toras Chaim.