‘A dif­fer­ent kind of rabbi’ hailed by Chief

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY JAY GRENBY

EDG­WARE SYN­A­GOGUE’S new min­is­ter is “a very dif­fer­ent kind of rabbi”, Sir Jonathan Sacks told a 600-strong con­gre­ga­tion on Sun­day.

Ad­dress­ing the in­duc­tion ser­vice for Rabbi David Lis­ter, the Chief Rabbi re­marked that there were few min­is­ters who could claim to be “adept on the vi­o­lin and gui­tar, versed in French lit­er­a­ture, as­tron­omy and quan­tum physics, as well as au­thor of a forth­com­ing book en­ti­tled In­ter-Ga­lac­tic Ju­daism, or whose in­duc­tion ser­mon for his for­mer Muswell Hill con­gre­ga­tion had em­braced an ode to a Har­leyDavid­son mo­tor­bike.”

Con­firm­ing Sir Jonathan’s as­ser­tion that he boasted “the big­gest smile” in the rab­binate, the min­is­ter re­sponded that he was proud to serve the Edg­ware con­gre­ga­tion.

“The acts of kind­ness are le­gion, from peo­ple who vol­un­teer their time, money or ef­fort to help in any as­pect of com­mu­nal life, to those who pick up the phone to speak to some­one who is un­well, or rush around with meals for those who need them.”

Edg­ware chair­man Philip Norman had wel­comed Rabbi Lis­ter and his “amaz­ingly spe­cial” wife Rachie to the com­mu­nity. Prais­ing him as “a truly ver­sa­tile, in­spi­ra­tional, kind, com­pas­sion­ate and sin­cere rav”, he fore­cast that he would join the ranks of the great rab­bis who had helped Edg­ware be­come one of the United Syn­a­gogue’s lead­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

Among guests at the ser­vice — which was en­riched by the voices of chazan Jonny Turgel and the Shab­ba­ton Choir — were United Syn­a­gogue pres­i­dent Dr Si­mon Hochhauser, US trustees and in­terim chief ex­exc­u­tive Stu­art Tay­lor. Dayanim Chanoch Ehren­treu and Yona­son Abra­ham were also present, as were rab­bis of many neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties, Hen­don MP Andrew Dis­more and Barnet Mayor Coun­cil­lor Mau­reen Braun.

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