Popular synagogue member dies in holiday swim tragedy

Russell Ereira, who drowned while on holiday in Mexico, was described as 'a good friend to so many'


A prominent member of both the S&P Sephardi Community and St John’s Wood synagogue has drowned in a tragic accident while on holiday in Mexico, with London rabbis extending their “deepest sympathies” to his family.

Russell Ereira, 58, passed away on Wednesday while swimming near a beach at Puerto Escondido in the central Mexican state of Oaxaca. The Mexican Red Cross was unsuccessful in attempts to revive him.

In a joint statement released on Friday, the rabbis of four London synagogues which Mr Ereira had been associated with paid tribute to him.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck and Rabbi Israel Elia of the S&P Sephardi Synagogue, Dayan Ivan Binstock and Rabbi Yoni Golker of St John’s Wood synagogue, Rabbi Mordechai Fhima of the Anshei Shalom synagogue and Rabbi Mendel Cohen of the Saatchi synagogue described Mr Ereira as “an immensely popular person, and a good friend to so many.

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to Sharon, Joshua, Marcus, and Ileana; to parents, Norman and Norma Ereira; and to brother, David. As a joint community, we want you to know that we are here for you and ready to support you in every possible way.

“There are a great number of people in our synagogues who have been deeply shocked by this tragedy. As Rabbanim, we, and our wives, are here to support you too.”

The rabbis also said that “for those who would like to express spiritual solidarity with the family in these difficult days, any mitzvah you would choose to do, or Torah learning you undertake, in Russell’s merit, would be very appropriate.

 “May HaShem give courage and comfort to the family and may we all draw strength from each other.”

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