Rabbi Julia Neuberger said she was thrilled to become the next senior rabbi of West London Synagogue after a ballot of members confirmed her appointment.
Baroness Neuberger, who will join part-time in March with the aim of becoming full-time in September, said: “This is the leading Reform synagogue in the UK and it’s a huge privilege to be asked to lead it.”
Jonathan Lass, chairman of West London, said he was “delighted that the community has overwhelmingly endorsed our decision to appoint Rabbi Julia Neuberger. She is admired by so many of us and has a long association with our synagogue. This is a wonderful opportunity for WLS — Rabbi Neuberger shares our vision and her passion, wisdom and energy will inspire our community in all its vital work in the years ahead. She will undoubtedly be a great addition to the illustrious group of West London senior rabbis.”
Stephen Moss, chairman of the Movement for Reform Judaism , said he was “thrilled at the news of Rabbi Julia’s appointment. She is among the pre-eminent Jewish figures in the country today, an inspiring voice for progressive Judaism and an outstanding advocate of the values shared across the whole Jewish community.”
Jackie Gryn, widow of Rabbi Hugo Gryn , who was senior rabbi of the synagogue for 32 years, said: “My family and I are absolutely delighted and relieved to hear the news of Julia’s appointment. She is remarkable in having achieved such huge stature in national as well as Jewish life and it’s wonderful that she has agreed now to step back into a congregational life. How proud Hugo would have been to see one of his own pupils taking on the role he held for so many years.”
Lucian Hudson, chairman of Liberal Judaism – of which Baroness Neuberger is currently president – said: "No one movement can contain what Rabbi Julia Neuberger has to offer in terms of her talent and ability to reach people from all walks of life. We wish Julia all the very best in her new appointment. The two movements — Liberal and Reform — work so closely together that Judaism as a whole, particularly Progressive Judaism, can only benefit from such a development.”