Rev Sid­ney Gold

The Jewish Chronicle - - Obituaries - IAN GOLD

UN­DER THE tute­lage of his un­cle Abie Eker, Sid­ney Gold knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a min­is­ter. Born in the east end of London, his fam­ily moved to Southamp­ton in the 1920s. He was ed­u­cated at Ariah Col­lege board­ing school and train­ing es­tab­lish­ment for as­pir­ing teach­ers and min­is­ters, at­tend­ing Portsmouth Gram­mar School at the same time.

Later he stud­ied at Jews Col­lege, at­tain­ing a B.A. in Semitics and a Min­is­ter’s Diploma. Dur­ing this time he con­tin­ued teach­ing, leyn­ing and preach­ing his first ser­mons in London, Southamp­ton and Bournemouth, where his fam­ily had since moved.

In the early war years in London he was an army chap­lain, run­ning youth clubs and un­der­tak­ing fire-watch­ing and air-raid war­den duty. He be­came min­is­ter first to the High­gate com­mu­nity, and af­ter the war, Bel­size Park. He mar­ried Betty Haimovitch, sec­re­tary of Bournemouth Syn­a­gogue in 1944, and they had two chil­dren, Ian and Aviva.

He then served the Bayswa­ter com­mu­nity un­til 1960, when he be­came Chief Min­is­ter of Birm­ing­ham He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion, Singers Hill, rec­om­mended by then Chief Is­rael Rabbi Brodie, serv­ing with em­i­nence un­til 1987.

Suc­cess had not come eas­ily to him, but by con­sid­er­able self-dis­ci­pline, he be­came a scholar with an en­cy­clopaedic knowl­edge of To­rah, phi­los­o­phy, his­tory, He­brew and English lit­er­a­ture and pol­i­tics. He also loved or­nithol­ogy and clas­si­cal mu­sic.

A mas­ter­ful or­a­tor, his ser­mons were 20 per cent in­spi­ra­tion and 80 per cent per­spi­ra­tion. He was al­ways at­ten­tive to the pas­toral side of his call­ing, vis­it­ing the sick, rais­ing char­ity, com­fort­ing mourn­ers and en­gag­ing with non-jewish re­li­gious lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ties, long be­fore it was con­sid­ered po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to do so. He re­garded this is a Kid­dush Hashem, the ul­ti­mate act of spir­i­tual ded­i­ca­tion.

A pas­sion­ate teacher, Rev Gold ran and taught cheder classes through­out his ca­reer. He re­tired to Bournemouth but af­ter the pass­ing of his wife in 2009, he re­turned to Birm­ing­ham’s An­drew Co­hen Home for the last three years of his life.

He is sur­vived by Ian and Aviva, seven grand­chil­dren and 12 grand­chil­dren.

Rev Gold: at­ten­tive and in­spir­ing

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