Minister adapts to Forest life
THE INAUGURAL rabbi of one of east-London’s largest congregations says he feels “very welcomed” by the community.
Formerly minister of Liverpool’s Childwall shul, Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg took charge at Woodford Forest United Synagogue — created by the merger of Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue and Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation — before the festivals.
Rabbi Wollenberg said that he and his family had been made to feel at home.
“There’s a forward-thinking leadership. They’re prepared to try new things. It’s a very nice shul and we had a very good crowd over Yomtov. It’s child-friendly, too.”
Over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, attendances peaked at more than half the synagogue’s 1,200 members. “We had a full house and even had to open up parts of the shul they haven’t since the merger.”
The Wollenbergs are living above the shul.
Although this has meant a fair number of early morning visitors, the set-up “works for us, because we’re in the thick of things”.