Full house for farewell of Har­row min­is­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life -

NEARLY 400 peo­ple packed Har­row’s Mid­dle­sex New Syn­a­gogue on Shab­bat to bid farewell to Rabbi Si­mon Franses, who has served the con­gre­ga­tion for 21 years.

The rabbi, cel­e­brat­ing his 65th birth­day, de­scribed key achieve­ments as de­vel­op­ing a car­ing con­gre­ga­tion and ex­pand­ing the shul’s role in the wider com­mu­nity. “I am very proud that with your help and as­sis­tance, we cre­ated a group of peo­ple in the pre­vi­ous re­ces­sion to ad­vise con­gre­gants and help them find gain­ful em­ploy­ment.”

Rabbi Franses, who has served as a may­oral chap­lain in Har­row and Hertsmere, also high­lighted the shul’s ex­panded in­ter­faith work with Chris­tians and Mus­lims.

Spe­cial guests in­cluded con­sul­tant sur­geon Ge­orge Hanna, who per­formed the rabbi’s re­cent can­cer surgery. Rabbi Franses ad­di­tion­ally thanked syn­a­gogue mem­bers and of­fi­cers for their sup­port, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing his ill­ness.

He was pre­sented with a dig­i­tal cam­era, a com­pi­la­tion of mes­sages from mem­bers and a deluxe sid­dur by MNS chair­man Jane Pren­tice, who told him: “Your com­mit­ment to MNS has never wa­vered and your care for the com­mu­nity has con­tin­ued at all times, even from your hospi­tal bed.”

Rabbi Franses has been ap­pointed rabbi emer­i­tus and his suc­ces­sor, Rabbi Kath­leen de Magtige-Mid­dle­ton, con­ducts her first ser­vice on June 7.

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