Bore­ham­wood set to vote on a new rabbi

Board backs North­wood’s Brawer

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community News - JAY GRENBY BORE­HAM­WOOD

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.

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