Want to be a dayan? United Synagogue lists job requirements

Looking for a replacement for Dayan Yonason Abraham, the US attaches new condition to the post, which has a salary of up to £110k


The London Beth Din is advertising for a dayan to fill the vacancy left by the sudden departure of Dayan Yonason Abraham three months ago.

In a job spec published this week, it has attached a significant new condition to the £90,000 to £110,000-a-year post that will restrict the holder’s freelance activities.

He will be permitted to take on the role of rabbi of a congregation only if it belongs to the United Synagogue.

Periodically, there have been calls at the US council for independent communities led by judges in the Chief Rabbi’s court to be brought within the US fold.

LBD head Dayan Menachem Gelley leads a synagogue unaffiliated to the US, as did Dayan Abraham.

Of the three current dayanim, only Dayan Ivan Binstock, senior rabbi of St John’s Wood Synagogue, is based at a US community.

The new dayan will also require the permission of Dayan Gelley and US chief executive Steven Wilson to accept any additional roles, even if they are unpaid.

US president Michael Goldstein said: “A professional Beth Din is central to the work of any synagogue body and we are blessed to have a Beth Din admired the world over.

“To help the new dayan engage with United Synagogue members, should the successful candidate wish to take on the rabbinic leadership of a community, this should be a United Synagogue shul.”

Dayan Gelley said the LBD sought a dayan “of the highest calibre: a talmid chacham [religious scholar] of repute but also someone with a sensitive and empathetic approach, combining an understanding of British culture and the British Jewish community.

“We will interview only excellent candidates and will make an appointment consistent with the highest standards expected of the London Beth Din.”

As well as dealing with matters such as kashrut, conversion and divorce and adjudicating on disputes brought to the Beth Din for arbitration, the new dayan will be expected to advise the US rabbinate, field questions from members and support the US in “community development, education and fundraising”. He should also show “strong sensitivity and empathy to deal with delicate personal situations”.

Dayan Abraham fell from grace after evidence emerged of what was considered an inappropriate association with a married woman.


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