Sturgess ends a syn­a­gogue’s 50-year va­cancy for a min­is­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JAY GRENBY

ST AL­BANS Syn­a­gogue mem­bers turned out in num­bers for the in­duc­tion of its first rabbi in more than 50 years — for­mer Aish UK di­rec­tor Daniel Sturgess.

Rabbi Sturgess and his wife, Alli, were ap­pointed as joint rabbinical couple just over a year ago.

In her wel­come re­marks to the cer­e­mony, syn­a­gogue chair Karen Appleby ex­plained that the shul had sur­vived by us­ing lay read­ers to lead ser­vices. But with the im­pe­tus gen­er­ated from hav­ing a rabbinical couple, mem­ber- ship had risen close to the 200 mark.

“Our mem­bers can­not speak highly enough of the pos­i­tive im­pact made on our com­mu­nity by our new rab­binic couple. We hope that this day marks just the be­gin­ning of a long and suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship.”

In his in­duc­tion ad­dress, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis noted: “The com­mu­nity is pleased to have such a won­der­ful couple to lead it, while they [the couple] are pleased to be lead­ing such a won­der­ful group of peo­ple.”

Re­spond­ing, Rabbi Sturgess said that on meet­ing the con­gre­ga­tion, he and his wife ap­pre­ci­ated that “this was a com­mu­nity with real warmth, ded­i­ca­tion and am­bi­tion. It was per­fectly suited to us.

“Since ar­riv­ing in St Al­bans, we have seen con­sis­tently well-at­tended ser­vices for Shab­bat and fes­ti­vals and for adult ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes and so­cial events. We have seen chil­dren run­ning around the syn­a­gogue on fam­ily fun days, for arts and crafts af­ter­noons and for ice cream kid­dushim. We’ve seen adults run­ning around the syn­a­gogue for sushi kid­dushim and, more im­por­tantly for us, we have seen en­thu­si­as­tic par­tic­i­pa­tion in ev­ery new ini­tia­tive.”

PHOTO: MY­DAS

Three gen­er­a­tions of the Sturgess fam­ily — Ray­mond Sturgess, Rabbi Daniel Sturgess and his four-year-old son, Ye­shaya — with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the St Al­bans Syn­a­gogue in­duc­tion cer­e­mony

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