Borehamwood set to vote on a new rabbi
Board backs Northwood’s Brawer
THE HONORARY officers of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue have named Rabbi Naftali Brawer as their preferred candidate to succeed Rabbi Alan Plancey, who is to retire this year after 30 years with the Hertfordshire community.
The American-born Rabbi Brawer — currently minister of Northwood Synagogue and a regular JC columnist — has the unanimous endorsement of the United Synagogue congregation’s selection committee, as well as its 14strong selection advisory group.
Working in compliance with US rabbinic recruitment procedures, the group has tried to ensure that the recruitment process represents the community’s views as broadly as possible.
Rabbi Brawer and his wife, Dina, will spend this Shabbat in Borehamwood and will attend an open meeting next Wednesday, when Rabbi Brawer will give a brief address, answer questions and chat informally with congregants.
An extraordinary general meeting will be held the following evening when congregants will vote on the appointment. In a letter encouraging members to support their recommen- dation, honorary officers, headed by chairman Stephen Forman, said they believed Rabbi Brawer and his wife have “the appropriate skills, experience and leadership to move the community forward to the next stage of its development and build on the work so magnificently carried out by Rabbi and Miriam Plancey, making Borehamwood one of the leading communities in Anglo-Jewry.”
Rabbi Brawer, 36, who has been minister at Northwood for 10 years, was ordained in New York. In the UK, he has acquired an MA and a doctorate in Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The father-of-four is also a member of the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet, with special responsibility for Jewish-Muslim relations. Milan-born Dina Brawer is a well-known speaker and educator.
If Rabbi Brawer’s appointment is approved by the US’s fastest-growning congregation, he would probably take up his Borehamwood post this summer. Rabbi Plancey had deferred his retirement from last October to July 2007.