Leading rabbi mourned


Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, one of Britain's leading strictly Orthodox rabbis, has died aged 92.

An estimated 5,000 people attended his funeral in Golders Green, north-west London, on Wednesday, bringing the area to a standstill. A Metropolitan Police helicopter was used to watch over the mourners.

The life-president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Halpern was regarded as the father of the Charedi community.

He died on Tuesday after suffering kidney failure.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Rabbi Halpern moved to London in the late 1930s and prompted the growth of the Charedi community.

Rabbi Halpern has left an amazing legacy

He founded Pardes House Primary School and the Beis Medrash Beis Shmuel synagogue.

Pardes headteacher Joel Sager said the school's founder was a much-loved figure who cared deeply about the community.

"He was committed to the school like a father is to his son. When he came in, every child wanted to come and see him and shake his hand. Every staff member crowded around him.

"He showed a huge amount of love for the school and the pupils. He was a very special man."

Rabbi Abraham Pinter, headteacher of Yesodey Hatorah School, said: "He was the father of the Charedi community in north west London.

"All of the area's Jewish institutions are thanks to him. He's left an amazing legacy."

Rabbi Halpern is survived by his 10 children.

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