Midlands 40th bash
A THIS is Your Life evening, anchored by Sky Sports pundit Jonny Gould, was held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rabbi Shmuel Arkush, and his wife Leah, setting up Lubavitch in the Midlands.
Mr Gould, an ex-Brummie, highlighted how the couple established a Lubavitch presence in “a sceptical Midlands” in 1975.
Also in the 160-strong audience were Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush and Chabad’s Rabbi Arye Sufrin.
Mr Arkush, Rabbi Arkush’s cousin, described the rabbi’s teenage years as a Torah student who went on to establish, with his wife, a Lubavitch Centre in Birmingham providing religious learning, after-school activities and counselling programmes.
The final guest, Tova Mordechai, had travelled from Tzfat in Israel to give her account of how the Arkushes had helped her “rediscover her Jewish roots and to live her dream as a Jewish grandmother in Israel after a career as a Christian minister”.
Rabbi Arkush expressed his thanks “to the many supporters and friends for the years of support for Lubavitch in the Midlands and its outreach”.
The event, held at Central Synagogue, included a violin performance of Chabad niggunim by the shul’s Rabbi Lior Kaminetsky.