Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi of the S & P Sephardi Community, attracted a huge turnout to his new lecture series in North-West London – his first in the area since the controversy that erupted over his comments on gay love last summer.
The first of a nine-part series on Maimonides drew 200 people to the London School of Jewish Studies in Hendon on Monday night, with 80 having to be turned away because of lack of space.
Police were on hand because of earlier threats of protests from right-wing critics but the event passed without incident.
Rabbi Dweck’s popular lecture series at a Hendon synagogue last year was suspended after the uproar over his comments on homosexuality and other teachings.
The new series, sponsored by the Sephardi centre, focuses on healthy relationships and personal growth.
Rabbi Dweck said he was “grateful to the S&P Sephardi Community and to the Sephardi Centre for their generous support, as well as to the Office of the Chief Rabbi for their support of this series of lectures. My thanks go to the LSJS for partnering with us in offering these lectures to the greater community.”
Caroline Jackson, SPSC trustee, said “we believe it is our honour, privilege and indeed our duty to support Rabbi Dweck in his teaching of Torah”.
The organisers said they would do what they could to accommodate those who wanted to come.